Thursday, 28 April 2016

Lessons from the Space Shuttle to the School House

Today at the Connect Conference in Niagara Falls, I had the privilege of attending Chris Hadfield's inspirational keynote address. Not only is he vastly knowledgeable in his field, but the wisdom he shared is also incredibly relevant in the field of education. Here is a compilation of a few of the lessons shared today by Commander Hadfield that are applicable from the space shuttle to the school house.

1. Impossible things happen when you come together with a shared long term goal. For example, a space shuttle is made of 10 000 little inventions made by multiple people that when connected, make something amazing!

2. There is a fundamental truth with technology, everything breaks or fails at some point. The defining question is, how do you deal with it?

3. Impossible things do happen and they happen because of hard work! We start to limit ourselves when we are young saying, "that's something people like me don't do". We must share the power of possibility with our students so that they know opportunities exist for all of them.

4. Early success is a terrible teacher because it reinforces bad habits. Early failure is a wonderful teacher, that's how you fail and do it spectacularly!

5. If something is impossible now, with collective intellect and will it won't stay that way. Sending people into space is an amazing example that impossibility can always be re-defined!

6. We can only address the issues of the world by teaching our kids how to identify and how to solve real problems.

Let's take a lesson (or six) from Commander Hadfield by rethinking the word "impossible" and teaching our students (and reminding ourselves) that nothing is beyond our reach!