Or…What I learnt from Tim Minchin about teaching.
Tim Minchin did a wonderful speech to graduates at UWA which can be found here. His point about Micro-ambition really got me thinking about big dreams and goals and how we should approach what we do as educators…
Don’t spend your life chasing one dream
I’m not suggesting that we stop reaching for the stars but more that we remember to look around us at the beautiful moments and opportunities that surround us each day and embrace them. Don’t be so focused on one goal that nothing else matters unless your going to cure a major disease or end world hunger or make a tasty biscuit that won’t collapse when dunked.
This is doing something about those small moments and opportunities. If you are doing something take pride in it and do it well; as Tim (we’re not actually on a first name basis but he doesn’t seem to be hung up on formality) suggests this doing stuff well leads to other interesting opportunities. For us teachers it means looking beyond our data and development plans and noticing things in our lessons and our school community. Look for little ways to make a difference that matter. Grab little projects and ideas; do them well, move on with your life.
Focusing in on the small things like this is a way to make real progress; it might not be as linear as an action plan but you’ll be moving forward, learning, developing and making a difference. A lot of small steps will take you a long way and if you’re passionate about what you do who knows where the journey will go.
As all powerful and wise as we feel on our best days we can’t even begin to imagine the big picture of our whole lives. We need to make sure we grab the pieces we want and stick them together and stop worrying about the box; you’ll always have more opportunities to be in a box.
So how do we do this? Live in the moment! I know that’s lame advice, it sounds like a self-help cliché from an airport bookstore. What I mean is focus in on little things that are happening right in front of you and ask yourself how can I make this “more”. Don’t ignore the future but remember to make a life in the present.
If we’re putting pride into doing what’s in front of us and noticing the little things we should celebrate those things. Share those victories; share the successes of others. If you can’t celebrate your own successes or those of others I fear you may be missing out on life joys. Embrace the special moments in life!
Barry Dunn – @SeahamRE