The 90-Second Integrationist – Episode 010 – Teach Like You’re Chanel

“Strive for beauty and elegance, but understand that those things will not be the same for everybody.”



[Background music.]
[VO: Welcome to The 90 Second Integrationist, episode 10.]

(from Madonna’s song, “Vogue”) “Beauty’s where you find it.”

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel had none of the prerequisites of her day to become a fashion designer. She was poor, orphaned, and female. But, her unique designs, born of utility and her innovative perspective on what women’s fashion should be, changed the business forever. The Chanel suit, the little black dress, and a fashion designer’s name on a fragrance line were unthinkable before Coco – and now they are indispensable elements of the women’s fashion world. As Coco said in a 1965 interview, “La mode passe; le style reste” (“Fashion passes, style remains.”)

On Friday, January 12, 2007, world-famous violinist Joshua Bell donned a non-descript cap and jacket and took his multi-million dollar Stradivarius to a DC metro station. He played, for 45 minutes, while over a thousand people passed by. A few stopped to listen. A few of them dropped coins or the occasional dollar bill into his open case. A virtuoso performance went almost completely unnoticed – not because of the lack of skill, but because it was an unexpected performance from an unexpected person in an unexpected place.

We have students giving virtuoso performances every day, but sadly they go unnoticed because it isn’t who we expect, where we expect, in the way we expect.

Teach like you’re Chanel. Strive for beauty and elegance, but understand that those things will not be the same for everybody.

Join me at designing education dot org.

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