Friday, December 18, 2020

Sharing Failure #EdChat #MakerEd

As I look back over the course of the year, I flip through my blog posts, my Twitter and Instagram feeds, and think about all of the things I have shared. I have had so much fun sharing the fun things I have been learning as I build various projects on my own or with students. I did notice I was missing something from my feed and it was my biggest project failure of the year. I have been working on this table project on and off for a year and it has become this Frankenstein's Monster of a project. I keep trying to tweak and make it better, but it ends up worse and worse. It is rough and I have not shared it with anyone until now. Here is my first attempts at an epoxy side table.

You might be thinking, "Hey, that doesn't seem so bad" and you would be very wrong. The table isn't flat. The side pieces are not jointed together smoothly. That is my 2nd attempts at an epoxy top using the Atari cartridges and there are still bubbles and inconsistencies in the top. There are hundreds more of errors I can see that drive me crazy. Every time I try to fix them, I make something else worse. To take a lesson from Edison, I did not fail in making a table, I learned about a dozen different ways NOT to make a table. 

We learn from failure and I know that is not a revolutionary idea, but it is important to share those failures once in a while to remind others that we all make mistakes, learn from them, and try again. It's these failures with this table that I was able to create this desk I use at work. 

I spent hours sanding the top to get it level and worked on the live edge sides to chip away excess bark. This desk has a built in wireless charger so I can just set my phone down while I work and have it charge. I used a beeswax to bring out the color and a a few coats of polly to seal it. It is a cool desk and I used so many different techniques I learned from my failed side table to make it happen. 

This year has been full of success stories and stories of failure. Instead of being too hard on yourself, remember that, while you may have failed, you learned something along the way. Even if it was just how not to do something. 

I hope everyone has a great end of 2020 and prepare to make some amazing things in 2021.

Hugs and High Fives, 

N Provenzano

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Respect Winter Break #Education

With the upcoming holiday break, I truly hope that teachers around the country allow students to actually take a break. Some teachers feel break times are a great spot to add work that they could not get to before the break. Extra reading assignments or study guides are given to students during break to help them "catch up". Please do not do this. Students deserve a respite from the day to day school work and should be able to embrace break without the anxiety of finishing the extra work before school starts. 

Teachers, you also deserve a break. Take the time off and remove yourself from school work and spend time with your family and find non-work related activities to ease your mind and support your mental health. I encourage you to do those things you have not had time to do over the past few months. No, I do not mean catch up on grading, I'm talking about reading that book or video calling that friend. Find the time for "me time" and enjoy the break. You have earned it. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful break and we can all look forward to what awaits in 2021. Let's just hope it is not Godzilla or something. ;-)

Hugs and High Fives,