It was the last teacher day of the school year. Today would be our team building activity. Our task was to paint and beautify our school. We would spread the message of The Seven Habits and the importance of The Leader In Me philosophy.
Rene and Rachel, our administrators had the cafe filled with blank canvases of various sizes, brushes, paint and snacks. I sat with my new first grade team ready to paint. Well, not really ready. I was worried about Harrison and Sydney. But that is another blog. I looked around the room and saw everyone talking and excited to begin their masterpiece.
All I could do was stare at my blank white canvas. I didn’t have a plan. My Pinterest courage was running on empty. Some grades worked in teams. Some painted quotes. Others created beautiful pictures. My teaching partner had her idea. She would paint a sun with multi color rays.
I started to think as I scanned the room. Is this what my students feel like when they are given a task and don’t know where to start? I wouldn’t expect my students to just sit idle. I would encourage them to ask three friends and then ask me for help. Next, I had to go into my prayer closet. Right there in the cafe. Fix it Jesus! That’s my new saying. I wanted to paint a quote. Be still and know I am….. Wait, I am about to plagiarized The Bible.
I decided to walk around and maybe an idea would appear in my head. Why am I making this such a big deal? Just paint already, I kept telling myself. When I looked in the corner I saw teachers using the hair dryer to dry their paintings. I began to talk with teachers that I didn’t always have a chance to talk with. Now I was holding the blow dryer for people and talking. One after the other. I was helping others, because I was avoiding my task.
Finally, I had to go and sit down. My team probably thought that I was being anti-social. But I needed my music. I grabbed my ear buds and hit play on my playlist. With Eminem’s Lose Yourself playing in my ear. I watched Lis paint the sun. I found a picture of a very unique giraffe. The first step was just to pick up the paint brush and begin. I’ve done painting parties before but with a twist!!!!!
I was in the zone and my painting wasn’t looking the best but I kept going. When I hit a stumbling block. I asked for help. Then it happened. I kicked my shoes off. Those that know me, know that when I kick my shoes off. It’s on! My caption for my painting was “Be YOUnique. And that is exactly what my painting was, unique.
Our task was to beautify the school. My take away from the experience was more than that for me. I learned that we all have a blank canvas in life. If I kept sitting there looking at other people’s work. I would have never completed my masterpiece. Just like in life. We can start with something basic and plain. But in the end, we all have a work of art. That is fit to hang on a wall.
What will you do if you are given a blank canvas?