Anna Rose’s Mac Blog Wk 2-Reading Commentary
Ben and Roseanne Zanders book Art of Possibility touched me in so many ways. I sat down and read the book in 2 sessions before the class even started. After a very stressful year of new innovations at my school, my father going through cancer again, keeping up with my assignments and a class of students that I could seem to reach, this book opened my eyes. Maybe I had reached a few of those problem students, maybe I had not, but at least I had tried. After reading chapter 4 of this book, I have decided on new rules for my classroom next year. Each student must as themselves: “Am I a contribution?” Because that is what I will be doing everyday.
After reading the story about the girl and the starfish, I asked myself. Am I the little girl or the man, that asked what will it matter? I shared this story with my team at school on the Monday after reading the book. I do believe that it made an impression on the other teachers. I recommended the book to the other teachers and a few of them actually wrote down the title, I just hope they read it.
Watching the TED talk video re-enforced the lessons in the book so much and I could see in his face the power that his attitude gives him to change his part of the world. I went to a John Strebe presentation where he said to start small to change the way you teach. I’m going to use Benjamin Zander’s Art of Possibility to make small changes in my own life and I’m starting by asking myself often: “Am I a contribution?”
Your post about being consumed within our own turmoil and strife reminds me of a painting by Breughel titled “Landscape of the Fall of Icarus.” In the painting, Icarus is struggling in the water after falling from the sky because he flew too close to the sun-even though his father warned him of the dangers. The shepherd, man fishing, farmer, and the ship that passes right by do not notice a man drowning. It doesn’t matter that he fell to his death by his own choice because what is more powerful is that no one contributed to his life at that moment. Given the message in the book, he failed to understand his own possibilities, and those around neglected to invest in a new invention-compassion and concern. Within our hectic and crazy lives as educators, we do find that we forget we need to chip away the exterior to promote a new understanding and guide students into creating their own world, despite where they come from. I know that you are compassionate and you teach the whole student, and I hope that your colleagues and my colleagues will open their eyes and remember the “Art of Possibility.”