My name is Wayne W. Smith and this blog contains my musings related to higher education, tourism and anything else that comes to mind. I invite you to scroll down and laugh where appropriate, cry when necessary but always remember to consider the source.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Every week Ms. Brenda Youngerman hosts a fun hop in which we all write on a common topic. This week's theme is:
I think of talent like baking. The primary ingredient is a natural ability. It may be a certain level of coordination or a mind that works well in a certain domain. My sister was a great example of this. Her brain was just 'wired' to understand math and numbers. She had a natural ability for logic. This natural ability however, can only take you so far.
The secondary ingredient and more important component is training and development. Natural ability can be a nice start but to truly nurture and make the most of one's talent one must put time into learning how to enhance their skills. Training in any field takes discipline and desire to push one to the point at which their skill level improves over time and space.
The most interesting component is that if one challenges themselves to improve to slightly above their current skill level, they will most likely to become fully engaged in the challenge This can lead to highly positive experiences and a high sense of fulfillment (if you want to learn more about this check out Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience"). If one continually challenges themselves to improve themselves on a consistent basis, they will most likely live a life in which they feel fulfilled.
As a teacher, I think of the concept of talent a lot. How do I put my students into a space and place whereby their natural skills and abilities will be honed and trained? How can I create an environment where a large number of people with a variation in current level of abilities can all move forward together to develop each one of their talents? Can I create for them an environment where they come to enjoy and relish the opportunity for growth? How can I create an environment where my students can enter a state of 'flow' and thus maximize their potential for growth? Can I instill in my students a love of learning that will be one of the ingredients to living a happy and fulfilling life? I guess you can say this is where I hope my talent lies.
I am a little late with this but I am also adding this to Things I Can't Say - Pour Your Heart Out hop.