I have been really enjoying my first Instagram Book Study. The discussion is centered around Innovate Inside the Box by George Couros and Katie Novak. One of the chapters that we most recently looked at was Chapter 9 which is titled Observant.
The focus of the chapter is supporting learners to become keen observers and to give them opportunities to find and develop their passions. Of course, we all become more empowered when we have the ability to go more deeply into areas that we find interesting. But before we can fully engage in this type of learning, we need to develop some mindfulness skills in order to tap into this type of deep learning on a regular basis.
I think the chapter makes this important point well under the headings Becoming More Observant in a World Full of Noise Is More Valuable than Ever and How Do We Become More Observant in Our Passions? With so much information available online and the endless amount that comes at us through social media “finding meaningful and relevant information feels a lot like trying to find a needle in a haystack.” We need to help students navigate this landscape effectively and efficiently and blocking out the noise is essential.
In addition, we need to model the aspects discussed surrounding being more observant and helping our students build their toolbox which will allow them to slow down, listen more, and limit negativity. They need guidance in finding what helps them best develop a sense of calm and focus. There is so much research on the benefits of mindfulness and positive psychology. If we can introduce this to our students when they are young, it will certainly have lasting benefits in their learning.
A post that I wrote back in August, Encouraging Calmness in the Storm, touches on some of this. The words of Mr. Rogers sum it up best.
We can only accomplish this if we, the adult learners, are routinely modeling are own practice in achieving this calmness.