Welcome to “Pushing Forward.”
In my first year as a teacher I came upon a set of promotional posters for Apple; not surprisingly they were hanging in the computer lab. These posters weren’t typical computer advertisements, rather they were black and white photos of some very famous and inspirational people. The only writing on any of these photos was a simple tag line “Think Different.” As a HUGE Muppets fan growing up (and into adulthood) I loved the Jim Henson with Kermit poster the best, although it was hard to resist the Jane Goodall photo. Anyway, I was able to convince the technology coordinator to part with Jim Henson and Kermit; I excitedly hung it in my classroom.
Little did I know the tidal wave of inspiration that would follow. Immediately my students wanted to know who the “old guy with a beard” was, a few of them were able to identify Kermit but none knew of The Muppet Show (outrage!) After a bit of ’80s appreciation and some schooling on one of the most formative TV shows of my youth, one keen grammatical eye raised a brilliant question, “Mr. Olson, shouldn’t it say Think Differently, with an ‘-ly’?”
Like I said before, tidal wave, and just like that we were down the rabbit hole and onto letting curiosity drive our learning. Our next grammar lesson was in place as were a few non-fiction pieces of reading relating to the creative mind of Jim Henson. A bit of internet research led us to a video, a TV advertisement based on the same “Think Different” marketing campaign. And thus we arrive at the inspiration for the name at the top of this site…Pushing Forward.
Believe me, I don’t for a second think that I am “push(ing) the human race forward” but I do aim to push myself forward each and every day. I, and my students over the years, have been inspired by the message behind this marketing campaign. So much so that one of my classes took great pride in being “The Crazy Ones.” I’ve always worked to inspire my students to do great things “because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do!”
This site is about me. It’s about my professional wonderings (and wanderings), it’s about me as a person, an educator, a risk-taker, and a life-long learner. The menu at the top and the tools at the right will help organize everything from blog posts to my bio, with more to come…as I grow so too will my site.