At a recent professional development workshop delivered on the tropical Island of Guam – part of an ongoing multiyear project between Zero-Gravity Solutions and Guam Department of Education, to provide training and resources for its teachers to familiarize and become proficient in the use of the range of online teaching tools and techniques. For teaching professionals with very busy schedules, this can be a daunting task. No problem for these teachers.
Zero-Gravity Founder/CEO Geoff Weigand addressed the group on the first day with a message about applying creativity in the process to attaining mastery in a discipline. That with unwavering commitment to finding a creative solution it’s possible to succeed in any endeavor, no matter how daunting. He showed a sequence of images of his rock-climbing: un-roped, a “free solo” of a first ascent hundreds of feet off the ground in Australia – a route that no-one had ever climbed before! A daunting task?
He explained, that climbing or performing in highly intensive pressure situations could easily be overwhelming leading to (any) mistake, resulting in death – but that he had learned how to use the enormous pressure experienced while free solo climbing, to not displace his focus, but instead to use it to help amplify and sharpen his physical and mental capabilities!
Weigand knew from free soloing 1000’s of climbs, that by learning to effectively address such potentially “overwhelming” situations in any area of life, whether free soloing or learning a new teaching method – promotes the experience of real self-confidence and resilience key components in improving learning capacity!
He went on to explain that the teachers would also learn to effectively address the new and potentially overwhelming teaching methods with the ongoing support of the Zero-Gravity team – matched by the commitment and new vision for the future the combination would allow them to take on the new challenges presented and succeed with new capacities regardless of the situation.
His years as an elite athlete, visionary developer and sport scientist had shown him that people achieve highest levels of success or best learning potential when they “venture into unknown realms” with a commitment to creative solutions and a vision for the future.
By the end of the workshop the teachers were able to see and clearly articulate: how, that by engaging in their own personal “exploration” – in this case teaching online, with commitment and creative curiosity, their vision for a new future for their students was one of bright hope!
Here are some teachers’ comments:
When I came to this first grouping of this …it was it was like they threw us in the deep, I mean, not in a bad way but we really had to learn what we were supposed to be doing in order to implement this. And now the second time around we have a better grasp of what we need to do. And hopeful was, hopeful is actually, a really good term in order to explain how I feel because now I want to hit the ground running. I don’t want to stop anymore because I always wanted outside the box. And also now we have people we can collaborate with who know a little bit more than we do. Or somebody can share a resource with us that we didn’t know about and we’ve been doing that this whole time. And it’s amazing. So I’m excited because I’m not all by myself anymore.
I had an interesting with Geoff over lunch. We were talking about how he was like an artist when he went to Utah, because there was no rock climbing or anything or community… so he [was] kind of like an artist with this huge blank canvas. So I look at us like that. So we’re going back to Jose Rios and you guys are going back to all your schools – so we all are artists and we have this huge canvas. So we’ve got to get out there and start painting with [tech] and online learning with our students.