We are here to TRIC kids.  At least I know I am.  I’m a teacher and I do it all the time.  Yes, I TRIC them and I’m proud of it!

A few years ago I was talking with one of the (many) administrators I have worked with in my 12 years and he was talking about standards.  His newest idea at the time was to have teachers write down what standards they would be teaching that particular day as well as the essential questions we would be addressing.  “After all,” he stated, “We’re not here to trick kids!”

Now I, at the time agreed, of course.  There’s nothing wrong with students having an idea about what they will be learning, in fact, it may help some.  But after he left, my colleague turned to me and rolled her eyes.  “Are you kidding?  What kind of statement was that?  Of course we are not here to TRICK kids.”  And with a huff, she turned and left.

As I drove home that day, the conversation stayed with me.  Trick kids, trick kids… of course not, duh!  But then, my brain took a detour and started to make words from the letters of the word that was stuck in my mind.

That also happened to be a time in my career when I was looking for a new teaching job, so writing and revising cover letters was a nightly ritual.  That particular night, I had come up with my favorite sentence.  One that was inspired by the conversation earlier in the day.  No, I did not come right out and say I like to tric kids, but it was between the lines, so to speak.

I teach with a balance of traditional rigor and inspired creativity.

Traditional Rigor and Inspired Creativity – That’s my TRIC!

My whole purpose in the classroom is to make sure students get the skills they need through Traditional Rigor but I balance that by providing my students with the essential opportunity to be Inspired by the world around them and exercise their Creativity.  (At least, I hope that is what I do! 😉 )

The other night, during the #artsed chat led by Joan Weber,  she tweeted:

“You have 5 words. Why is #artsed important for children to have in schools? Can you narrow to 5 words?”

A few people tweeted back what their 5 words would be. Mine was this:

Opening minds and strengthening skills.

And after I hit the Send Now button, I was struck by the similarity those five words had to my four-word TRIC.  The arts have the ability to do both things: provide rigor and creativity; hone skills and inspire.

As I discover and  learn more and more everyday about arts integration, I am amazed at the possibilities.  For me, the arts hold the key as I do my best to keep TRIC-ing kids!

Do YOU like to TRIC kids too?  Do tell!

~EMP

Artsed in 5
Collaborate to Integrate

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