Wednesday, July 12, 2017

On Creativity

Even if you're new here, you can see B's creativity in action.  I hadn't thought much about it.  He has ideas, I want him to keep having ideas, I try to facilitate these ideas.  Also, he can be very persistent about his latest interest.  Thank you, autism! The dude is always creating!

Many of you know that I am an educator.  This coming school year will be my 17th year to teach.  My first teaching job was to teach technology applications and a GT pull out program.  I think I got the job because I'd taken a Creative Thinking class as one of my Master's out of program electives.  At that job, I was super focused on getting my GT kids to thinking creatively and differently.  That did not bleed over to my tech classes.

I've also taught 5th grade in large, urban district.  We were self contained, meaning that I taught all the kids all the subjects.  That job was pure survival, keeping my head above water.  My kids needed lots of things.  It never occurred to me that they needed creative time, I'm sad to say.

As I evolved as an educator, I worked to incorporate more and more creative time. It wasn't always easy and I wasn't always great at it. But I tried.

Tuesday morning my awesome friend, Rafranz Davis posted a blog titled: The Inaccessibility of Making, Tinkering & Coding.  Go read it, I'll wait.

As I read Rafranz's post, I began to think about B-man and his creative pursuits.  He's privileged to have parents who get it and can provide supplies and experiences.  He's privileged to go to a school that values creativity and can afford to provide opportunities and ideas.

Here are a few of things I've purchased for B's ideas this summer:

I'm happy to buy all this.  I'm blessed to have the means to do so.  But Rafranz's post really got me thinking about other kids.  What about kids whose parents can afford to buy whatever their creative little minds dream up?  What about kids who go to school obsessively focused on 'the test'?

As a momma, I'll continue to provide what I can for B.
As an educator, I'll continue to provide what I can for my students.
As teacher support person (not sure how else to frame my new role), I'll encourage teachers to take risks and provide opportunities for kids.
As a writer, I'll try to bring awareness to other educators so they can provide opportunities for kids.

This is an unsatisfactory ending.  "Encourage" and "Bring awareness" may or may not help any kids get time and supplies to be creative.  What else can we do?

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