Creative, artistic, imaginative, inventive – these are words that are held at a high regard, yet so many people think they are not worthy of these titles.
I disagree! What I do think happens is that we don’t allow ourselves to be those things. It’s a combination of having little time and a bit of intimidation.
Just the other day, as I was telling another teacher about the Teacher Art Retreat, she backed up, wide-eyed and said, “Oh…I’m not artistic!”
“That’s the point!” I replied. This retreat is meant to give educators the time and take away the intimidation so that you can get comfortable with and use your own creativity.
I know that so many people, especially adults have been told they are not creative or they feel more and more stifled as curriculum restrictions and testing becomes more prevalent in our schools. That just means we have to work even harder to allow ourselves and our students to be creative.
In that short list of words I began with, I would like to also add Inspired. I guess that’s part of my mission – the passion behind my drive to continue with this website and blog, to continue teaching workshops and courses, to continue organizing teacher field trips and this new venture – a Teacher Art Retreat. My mission is to help teachers see how inspiring they can be to their students, colleagues and especially themselves!
I am not artistically trained, but I have become, through my own journey, comfortable with art and confident in my own abstract style. I know my work may never dress the halls of a museum or even the home of a friend, but that doesn’t matter.
My own art making (visual, music, poetry, movement) has helped me along my own journey to become a more effective teacher. I know I still have a long way to go, don’t get me wrong, but I can truly say that giving myself the chance to be creative has helped me learn about myself as a learner and, in turn, I’ve seen learning from others’ perspectives as well.
Often we get so bogged down with our day to day stuff that we find it hard, sometimes impossible to let ourselves be creative. We can’t… I can’t! This is one of those “Practice What I Preach” kind of moments and a reason why I’m so happy to have pledged myself into being creative for 30 days in June. I am forcing myself to create one thing, just ONE thing everyday. Often already those things have been created late at night, before I fall into bed after a long day, but I’ve been doing them and it’s been good for me to just take a few moments to exercise my brain.
So, what IS so scary about being creative? I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter!