Creative Practice isn’t just hobby. I think it’s something we can infuse in our professional work as well as our personal work. Today I’m sharing a snippet (an image really) of an activity that’s part of a training I’m doing with educators. It’s one of the ways I infuse a bit of my creativity and authenticity into what I do as a former English teacher, district administrator, and professional development trainer. I’ll also tell you I am learning to use more techy tools for training, and one edtech tool I want to get good at using is Google for Education. There are so many amazing things you can do with it, but today I am dipping my digital toes into the Google Drive Drawing tool waters. Yippeee!! Don’t mind my rudimentary drawings skills. What matters is trying this out as part of my creative practice for trainings and workshops. I’m also sharing snapshots of other creative work practices.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like those sit-and-get trainings where there’s no interaction, no fun, no relevance, no ways to make it stick. I think learning should be sticky. As an educator, I believe in relevance with rigor and a good dose of creativity that is purposeful and practical. Sometimes it may be cheesy and childlike (who doesn’t like stickers and coloring), but let’s be honest here. When you can make learning fun, engaging, and unconventional, it seems you’re more likely to remember what you’re learning. I was that teacher who tried to find different kinds of ways to make learning English literature and writing not so boring, so I’ve had my fair share of time practice creating, trying, and refining different ideas based on what my students needed in order to learn concrete and abstract concepts.
I’ll spare you all the tiny details for now, but I’m creating an opening activity that I hope weaves together the theme for my training. It is a training that sets up educators for the entire year, and the thing I want them to take away is the importance of cultivating teacher/student buy-in by focusing on their own passion and excitement for a program we are launching. We’ll be meeting several times throughout the school year, and will constantly refer back to this activity because it builds on the pillars of the program we’re using. Basically, we’re going to build (draw) a house. Well, they’re each going to draw a house and each element will have a written piece which includes something about themselves, their hopes for this program, how they’ll bring their passion to it, and what they hope it will lead to for students on their campus. Of course, we’re going to hang out on the deeper meaning of foundations, entrances, and exits because those are critical elements in helping students build toward their own futures. How do you build a home to back to over and over again? That, my friends, is the critical question. I’ll keep posted throughout the year as to how it goes.
My encouragement to you is to find a way to make whatever you do in your professional work meaningful, relevant, engaging, interactive, and fun in ways that aren’t condescending or not appropriate for your audience. Which reminds me, you always take the audience into account. If you know who you’re working with, then it makes it a little easier to craft something you know they won’t mind entertaining. If it works, great! If it doesn’t work, then you can bravely ask for feedback on how to make it better. The next time, it’ll be more practical and powerful. Perhaps infusing your work with creative practice will fire up your passion and the why for what you do in your work. Don’t be afraid to try it out, and let me know how it goes.
How do you make learning unforgettable? I’d love to hear your stories.
In the month of October, I’m participating in the #Write31Days challenge. I’m focusing creative practice in the ordinary everyday mundane. Each day (or whenever I write) for the series I will post the link on my page for my #31DaysOfCreativePractice. Come along and read.