February 20, 2014

The (Learning) Gap

Sometimes you see a video and it really moves you. This one did.

As adults, we often forget how much we have learned. We forget how difficult and frustrating it can be as a child to become good at doing seemingly basic things. We read without thinking, calculate sales tax in our heads, tie our shoes. We forget what it is like to learn from scratch… to know what we want to be able to say, write or do but not have the ability to do it at the level we want to just yet.

As parents and teachers it is important for us to remind our children and students that we did not just wake up and know how to write or read or calculate or ride a bike. We had to learn it. It took work. And, while we were learning it didn’t always look pretty…

This video from Daniel Sax entitled, THE GAP by Ira Glass is the best, most concise explanation of what happens when we attempt to do something challenging and new. Here it is applied to creativity. But I think it goes for learning anything of importance. I’m sharing this video with my kids and will be remind them of it when they get stuck and feel like quitting.

I’ve posted the movie below with a description of the piece from the creator. Check it out, and let me know what you think in the comments below…

I think it was at springtime 2012, when I came across David Shiyang Lius lovely piece of work about Ira Glass. It was the most inspiring and motivating video, I have ever seen in my life. I watched it over and over again, listened to Ira Glass’ voice and told myself, that I am not the only person who is constantly disappointed about the gap between ones taste and ones skills. Later on in 2012 I decided to do an own filmed version of Iras interview – use my own language to tell his message. It took me about a year from concept to upload.

I made it for myself and for anybody who is in doubt with his/her creative career. I also think that Ira Glass’ message isn’t only limited to the creative industry. It can be applied to everyone who starts out in a new environment and is willing to improve.

Do you remember struggling to learn something seemingly simple as a child? How do you help your kids keep at it when they are experiencing the “gap”?

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About alimcollins

Ali Collins is an educator, community organizer and mom. She lives with her husband and twin girls in San Francisco, CA.

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Life-long Learning, Social Emotional, Teachers

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