Elon Musk – The Maestro of the ptp approach

I n 1982 fired by the possibility of  using sustainable energy sources that would allow our grandchildren to draw breath in the not so distant future and the fact that we lived right in the heart of Auckland we bought a Daihatsu Charade which had 2 seats only ,the rest of the car being filled with huge batteries. However my husband finally had to admit that; lithium batteries for space travel, the 50 km range, and the fact that our 14 year old daughter refused to ride in it because she said as soon as her peers saw that it moved without making any noise it attracted attention. Particularly this  parental faux pas and a couple of very time costly 52 km journeys saw the end of this experiment for us.

I just re-watched the presentation by Elon Musk of the sustainable battery power source panels now available for order which had really excited both myself and my 16 year old grandson.

The possibilities that this has for real change in the lives of so many is mind blowing. And it is open -source patented! My faith and optimism in the human spirit has reached the giddy heights I had in the 80’s! That this innovation hadn’t required government intervention, but was a result of the committed vision of people who believe that this is of great value because it will importantly benefit human lives.

The lesson here for me is that our best efforts can have impact if like Elon Musk we seek possibilities and
1. we found our human efforts on ideas we believe have a “human rightness” whether physically, socially, ethically, or scientifically driven by neurolinguistics – mechanical physics- quantum biology – etc  and
2. these ideas are well tested out with all known possible negative effects investigated and
3.worked on collaboratively with other like-minded people  who are
4.driven passionately to committedly work these ideas through to having the intended human value.

The action now is to get  back with increased resolve to continue to strive to make the rhetoric of being a ptp person and  teacher a real possibility.

Because we are all humanly the same….and also wonderfully diverse…

It didn’t take long as a parent and a teacher to find that the words of Carl Rogers,(1961)  “Life is guided by a changing understanding of and interpretation of my experience. It is always in process of becoming.” provided the rhetoric for my changing understandings of what may constitute a ‘good life’. His book
On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy   and the work of Maslow (1970) showing the hierarchy of needs that make us all humanly the
Maslowsame led me to trying to live  and work in a more ptp-Problems to Possibilities way.
This required a change in both classroom and home environments.
Rogers describes the environment for a person to “grow” as ” needing an environment that provides them with genuineness (openness and self-disclosure), acceptance (being seen with unconditional positive regard), and empathy (being listened to and understood).
So how does this translate in our homes and classrooms? A sprinkling of the ideas of Glasser are very useful here and a guide sheet could be:
                     DO’s                                                               DONT’s
Blue cardYellow card
Blue card:Supporting, encouraging, listening is far more effective (and a lot more fun)  than punishing, bribing and bullying. Starting off working with a class or work team and building processes around supporting and encouraging others is far more in line with having regard for the human worth of all people and allows for collaborative possibilities and creative ideas.
AND unless we are a “Polyanna” or a “Saint” we have to keep reminding ourselves when we have to lead and facilitate others that if we are not modelling “blue card” behaviours we are probably teaching “yellow card” behaviours.

The ptp way! Looking at What’s Going Right!

Last week a colleague recounted his experiences of his last staff meeting. There had been record breaking rainfall and for 4 days students had been inside all the time. 4 wet lunchtimes in a row!
The Principal who was leading the meeting had planned to spend 5 mins on general business and then lead a workshop centred on “modern learning environments” He quickly picked up on the mood and general chat which centred on recounting all the issues and problems staff had had with wet lunchtimes
He was obviously a devotee of David Cooperrinder . (Cooperrinder&Whitney. Appreciative Inquiry;A positive revolution in change.2005) He split the staff into two groups. Group One ‘s Task was to identify all the problems that wet days caused and Group two’s task was to identify all the things that worked well on wet days.
After the feedback from both groups staff agreed that it sounded as if it was feedback from two different schools!! The Principal succinctly drew on the scholarly research, principles and processes and effective changes Appreciative Inquiry brought about.  The discussion then centred around how people could build on , share and implement what was “Already Going Right”
My colleague not only thought wet lunchtimes would be more engaging for students and staff but their decision to approach “modern learning environments” changes in this way looked  very promising.