Let’s be terrible for a second

I am listening to an interview of J.J. Abrams on the Nerdist Podcast and he was asked a question about something that happens during filming. His response was really interesting. He said, ‘OK, let’s let this [be terrible] for a second.’ He goes on to say that sometimes film makers spend so much time trying to get the perfect angle for a shot, or have the perfect dialogue that they end up missing something they actually needed in the end. So, in any creative process, he lets something be terrible for just a moment (even when he knows it will be terrible beforehand) just to give himself a better perspective.

In Education, we are so cautious about adopting new techniques. We want to make sure they are tested and proven by someone else before we decide to try them ourselves. But I think that mindset is starting to change, at least it is on the small scale. We are getting pockets of innovation happening; small groups of people who are willing to let things be terrible for a second in order to find the better method to use. Really, this is just learning through experimentation.

We need to do this more often. For just one unit or one month or one semester, let’s let things be terrible and let’s learn from our mistakes. Maybe something amazing will come out of it. Or maybe we will just confirm that what we just did doesn’t work. Not matter what, we are leaning. And isn’t that the goal of education in the first place?

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One thought on “Let’s be terrible for a second

  1. @MissCheska

    I agree that the best learning (and teaching) comes from being just open and letting it be (terrible). In my first few years of teaching, I spent hours on writing scripted unit plans. It wasn’t bad, but I honestly can say I didn’t really enjoy teaching until I decided to let it go and enjoy the process. This year was my year of being in the present and being fearless; being present in the moment (rather than continuously planning ahead) allowed me to really get to know my students and connect with them, build more real life connections with my lessons, and take on lots of cool challenges that no one else really wanted to try or take on. I totally love teaching now because I get to learn it all over again, much more deeply, with my kids.

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