I’m currently reading Teach Like a Pirate, by Dave Burgess along with a few of my teaching colleagues. We are reading the chapter Ask and Analyze this week.
The chapter describes creativity. Dave stresses this is NOT a natural talent some people have and some so do not. Instead, it is intentionally nurtured through asking the right questions. How do we ask ourselves the right questions to nurture our own creativity in teaching?
As I read the chapter, I thought back to the morning I was running (many years ago!) on the treadmill and the idea of our classroom restaurant was born. The question I asked myself was, “How can I invited parents into our classroom to thank them for supporting their child in their educational journey during the year? What can the students do to show their gratitude?” I presented the idea to my 1st/2nd grade class and, from there, we created our restaurant. It was such a big hit that the following year all first grade classes in our school participated. If you want to read more about our restaurant, read my post How We Transformed Our Classroom into a Restaurant.
Reflecting on this experience, I wonder how often I ask myself the right questions to support creativity. Do I ask myself how I can best present the lesson to get the most “bang for my buck?” Do I allow myself time for this in my planning? Do I intentionally plan the joy in learning?
The answer is sometimes I do, but most of the time I do not. I get busy, overwhelmed, and forget this important piece. It is not about not having enough time, it is about prioritizing and making the time. Anything worth doing deserves the time. Our students deserve to be the priority. They deserve to experience the joy of learning more often than not.
Thank you Dave Burgess, I needed this chapter.