Beginning Again with Deploy Learning

Your stomach hurts.  You have cold sweats. Maybe your headache is accompanied by that slight feeling of dread. 

“What will they think of me?” 

“What if I fail?”

We have all had those feelings.  You are sitting at your desk before a new class of students arrive at your door.  You are about to take a test that you need to pass. You are going to deliver the lesson you have been working on the entire break.  Or you are waiting in the wings on the stage right before they announce your name.   

A beginner again

I often speak to audiences about starting over. I am experienced.  I have reinvented myself what feels like a dozen times. A TV producer.  A teacher. A consultant.  It is something I feel like I should be used to by now. But, I am not.

Remember Ralph Macchio’s Karate Kid character from that movie ages ago?   That moment where he is so frustrated with his mom for having to start over again is so memorable for me.  I can watch that scene and realize what a child he is for acting like that, but the thing is that I (and maybe you too) can totally relate. 

We have seen our students act like that when we challenge them. We want to act like that when the principal asks us to use the latest tool. We move to a new school with new rules and a new culture. The list can go on and on and on. 

Is it actually stressful?

Starting something new almost never feels easy. When I first moved to Australia, I had to relearn how to drive. I had been driving for almost 35 years. When I hopped into a car with the steering wheel on the wrong side and then drove on the wrong side of the road while shifting gears with my left hand, I thought I would crash from the anxiety I was feeling. Now it is one of my favourite stories to tell. The benefits of this new skill far outweigh the stress I was feeling in those early days. 

I often wonder if that feeling we label as anxiety isn’t just excitement mischaracterized. The excitement feels like stress because it comes from having to do something we don’t think we want to do. In her TED Talk, even Psychologist Kelly McGonigal argues the positive benefits of those feelings we think are holding us back from being a beginner again. https://www.youtube.com/embed/RcGyVTAoXEU

Easy is boring

I was watching Abstract: The Art of Design on Netflix the other day. There is an episode about designing for play featuring a wonderful look into the mind of Cas Holman. While the episode is worthy of a blog post of its own, the one thing that keeps repeating in my mind is something that Cas says almost as an aside…

”Easy is something that doesn’t engage your thinking.”

I totally agree. Easy is just that…easy. I believe that only when we are challenged are our minds engaged. We think deeply. We problem-solve, prototype, iterate and start over again. With each new start, we address our needs, our audiences’ needs, our student needs, and even our client’s needs. 

Today’s is the day that we start again. At the beginning. 

Welcome to our new idea called Deploy Learning. We are so excited that our stomach hurts. 

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