How Do We Teach Creative Problem Solving through Adversity?

Picture this: You are a chicken rancher and all of your livestock is being eaten by bald eagles. In other words, all of your income is literally being eaten. So what did Will Harris do? That’s right: Capitalize on what they call “agri-tourism” and attract visitors to see the best eagles in the nation (for a fee, of course).

Now picture this: You are a woman who lives through a terrible divorce and turns lemons into lemonade by wanting to help other divorcees get emotionally and financially back on their feet. So, what did Tiffany Beverlin do to turn her own tide of a chaotic marriage? That’s right: Create a company called Dreams Recycled for divorcees to meet, sell their stuff that was once precious to them, and purge their lives of any emotional barriers that were triggered by physical reminders.

Now picture this last example: You are a Donald Trump supporter who is single and you are having a hell-of-a-time trying to meet someone and go out on a date because of politics. NOTE: Some men and women will not give someone else the time of day if they do not believe in the same political candidate or platform. The old adage, “opposites attract,” is sometimes not true at all--especially in this case. So, what did David Goss do in order to deal with a shallow pool of single women in his hometown? That’s right: He set up in order to take political adversity out of his search for his next wife and help others who are in the same dating boat that sinks when politics dictate dating decisions.

These three stories provide us with something relevant, something creative, and something worth teaching students when we think about creative problem solving through the lens of struggles or tough times. For every defeat in life, for every let down, for every pitfall or death of a career, situation, struggle, or friendship, there is rebirth, success, and rejuvenation for each and every one of us just around the corner.

Rebecca and I are dedicated to teaching others about the pitfalls of human relationships and human relations that we all face each day--often filled with morsels of adversity. We know that there is something waiting just around the corner even when life seems hopeless or problems seem unsolvable. The Dunk Tank is both metaphorical and real and it is something that our students can very easily learn about. The tenets of the Dunk Tank and the stories of victories that exist in the book will help anyone to prevail in life and can prepare our students for their lives in a BIG way, as well.

See, effective and positive creative problem solving is using a specific set of skills, talents, or knowledge to shed new light on, sometimes, old or reoccurring problems and defeats.

While we originally wrote Escaping the School Leader’s Dunk Tank for school and teacher leaders to creatively think about navigating torrential relationships, we are finding that more and more educators and parents are looking to the tenets in our book as a way to transmit a transferable message to anyone in any situation that might face adversity in life (which really is all of us at one time or another). That’s why Rebecca and I are now working on a series of picture books for children, a Teenage Dunk Tank book, and a Teacher’s Dunk Tank book—places where creative problem solving goes beyond the concept that only school leaders face adversity in life. How do we conceive solutions for chicken loss, divorcees, or single people who have strong political convictions or beliefs? Creative problem solving should be relevant and strategic. In what ways can we create a discourse about the “Dunk Tank” and use it to teach children about adversity in life and how to forge incredible human relationships? It all starts with a simple discussion.

If you haven’t already swum with me and Rebecca, I invite you to do so by clicking HERE.

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