I come at teaching from the belief that we are creative beings and when we are expressing our creativity, we are really alive. Even the dimmest light sitting in a desk seemingly taking up precious oxygen in a classroom is capable of creativity. Maybe it’s only a little at first, but turn this tap on and whoosh! Flood gates…opening. When this happens it’s almost like you can see the neurons buzzing with excitement and looking for new connections (or maybe it’s the dandruff being caught in the sun rays streaming through the classroom window).
For as much as students of all sorts think they hate it, I’ve found teaching poetry to produce some of the most creative moments. Take an abstract idea; lost childhood. Think of an image that you best associate with this word; empty swing set. Then describe this image and how it makes you feel; (I’m not going to write a poem here but you should see some of the grade 8 work around this topic alone! Crazy). So why do kids come at the subject of poetry with such disdain? Why do they resist doing something that unleashes their most basic desire (to be creative)?
There is so much to say on this subject and will be the conversation in the “Education Unhinged” category (website to come) but I will let Sir Ken Robinson give a quick overview…with animation because it’s more exciting than looking at him lecture. Most educators have seen him and are maybe tired of listening but his talks are ones I go back to every few months to pump the inspiration machine and it works. Oh, and I’ll rip into the Enlightenment a little more later too.