The Importance of Exploration
Take a deep breath, hold it at the top for 3 seconds, and then exhale for 4.
Welcome back to The Optimalist, the newsletter dedicated to discovering how to create optimal learning experiences.
We are grateful for the opportunity to talk directly to educators who are part of a growing movement to enact change in education. Thank you for swimming with us! 🐠
It’s no secret that we are developing a new product, and today, we are celebrating two milestones in its journey: the reveal of our final name and the publication of our first blog, What Is the Optimal Learning Experience? In this exploratory piece, we ask ourselves what “optimal learning” means, and introduce flow as a way for educators to build motivation and focus into their classrooms. We can’t wait to hear what you think…
Importance of Exploration
Last week on Twitter we asked, “How might the optimalist mindset be a positive one for educators?” The result was a thread of comments weaving together feelings of strong solidarity with hints of self-doubt and perceived weaknesses. It’s clear that the optimalist mindset is something most of us unwittingly feel an aspiration towards.
Then yesterday, one of our community members showed us a draft of a blog she’s working on. It’s about feeling vulnerable in the creation process. In it, she wrote, “To me, creation is exploration. It is not a demonstration of expertise, but an artifact of learning.” (@mcdonald_kecia)
In the first issue, we introduced our definition of an optimalist, and declared all readers of this letter should consider themselves one. You are an optimalist! Well, we are really feeling the meaning of that in the creation of this 1st full-length letter. You are reminding us about the power of exploration in learning and creation.
This letter is the result of what we found by looking outward. It’s SO easy to slip to perfectionism. And it’s okay to not always feel like we have the answers. This week, we were reminded that being an optimalist is realizing learning takes time. It’s believing that solutions can emerge, and then starting to move in that direction - even without perfect clarity.
As it turns out, this exploration is informing the very first topic in the all-new #OptimalistChat, which debuts this Thursday, 2/17. Barbara Bray will be joining me to lead a conversation called “Are You a Perfectionist Teacher?” You can follow the tag #OptimalistChat to participate or read along!
In our planning of this event, Barbara writes, Are you hard on yourself? Do you find yourself working towards impossible goals? and I feel like she’s just inviting us to keep exploring what it means to be both an optimalist and an educator.
See you soon…
The Optimalist Recommends…
As a complement to the work we are publishing, we would like to give you a path to discover the words of other educators and researchers who share our philosophies.
Each issue, we will offer you an element of mindful living that you can try yourself and hopefully in your classroom. This week: Box Breathing
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We are a small team of product and community managers who would love to connect with you and start learning together. Are you ready to join our school of fish? 🐠
Don’t be afraid to say hi, and use the tag → #optimalist