This blog belongs to Patricia Atkinson and was created as part of the Education Media Design and Technology program at Full Sail University.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Week 3 Reading Peer Response: Peter Binskin

Nice sign! I too find it hard to realize and reflect on the difference between my “calculating self” and my “central self”. It’s hard sometimes to separate yourself, emotions, background, etc. from a situation! It’s true, we as teachers forget that we may be, in your words, “squishing” our students instead of empowering them. I like how Zander suggested that we need to ask ourselves who we are being that they are not performing to their full potential. I try to do that when I ask my students how I can help them make the best artwork possible. What tools can I give you? What examples? What techniques? I am often surprised and delighted at their responses, and it gives me satisfaction to know how I can help. I think the important thing here is that we are aware of our two selves, and continually reflect on how we can do better. Everyone is human and our nature seems to be that we will continually navigate to our calculating self, but if we are innovative and motivated, letting life “go” and reminding ourselves of rule #6, we can prevail in any situation, even if its negative.

The more I read the book the Art of Possibility by Rosamund and Ben Zander (2000) the more I love it. It’s been a comforting read as well as quite entertaining. Thank goodness for a book that makes me want to read it to see what the next chapter is going to reveal.
For me the major highlight from these four chapters (5-8) was the Rule number 6 focus in chapter 6. Even though I have a tendency to joke around to alleviate tense situations it’s usually a cover-up for the stress I’m bringing into the situation. I tend to think very much using my calculating self even though I think I am using my central self. It would be nice, some time, to actually have the presence of mind that Roz Zander portrays in this book to break things down and find a different, more positive collaborative way to get through a problem. I have now created a little sign of my own for every time I feel myself taking things too seriously.
Another thing I took away from these chapters was the idea of leading from any chair. It really came across as an empowerment piece and I was wondering how often as a teacher I squish students like the overbearing conductor just to get through the day. On Sundays I play guitar at church and afterwards I mentor a few teenagers in their playing. It’s funny how I can be the sort of person Ben Zander talks about, not being judgmental or desirous of credit as the boys get better in their playing, but supportive of them personally as they see themselves through their playing. Maybe I relax more with music than with core subjects.

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