Welcome to Teacher Creative
This is the beginning of a great adventure. My hope is that this site will develop as an exploration of the Teacher Creative; helping educators develop their own unique voice.
What is Teacher Creative?
The inspiration for this comes from a few different sources the most notably being Todd Henry’s The Accidental Creative. Todd’s work focuses on helping people be creative. As he states “We teach people and teams how to be prolific, brilliant, & healthy”.
My goal is to help teachers see the creative within themselves and unleash their brilliance in the work they do with others.
Teachers as Creatives
I believe teachers are some of the most creative people around. They come up with amazing lessons, ideas for meeting the needs of students, work with other teachers to help create and sustain cultures of learning and exploration, and so much more. Often, however, they don’t have the time to really think about how creative they are or how they might unleash greater creativity in themselves and their students because of the demands on their time and resources.
As an educator I didn’t think of myself as creative. I had bought into the whole idea of a teacher as just someone who works with kids. Although I often had great ideas, I didn’t know how to implement or grow those ideas into practices within the classroom. I wasn’t aware of how my own habits and frames of thinking were holding me back from being the teacher I knew I could be. This happened again when I became an administrator. I could see there were many possibilities but didn’t have the time, skills, or knowledge to bring those ideas to fruition. Although I learned a great deal, I was often frustrated because I knew I could do so much more if I just had the tools and time. Over time, I have come to understand that I was spending all my time building someone else’s version of me as teacher instead of developing my own voice and using my strengths to become better as a teacher.
It Takes Effort
In a world filled with ‘Listicals’ – a concept I borrow from Todd Henry, teachers have become inundated with lists of How To’s and What For’s. Add to this the constant barrage of “quotables” found on social media, which sound great but have little substance, and teachers are being overwhelmed with what others think they should do and what others think it means to teach.
You can’t argue with “All students matter” or “Do what’s best for students” but how do teachers and administrators get beyond the quotable? What does it mean to live “All students matter” or “Do what’s best for students”? What does it mean in your classroom? In your school? In your community?
More and more teachers are being told to be creative but then told how to be creative according to someone else’s ideas. Worse yet, they don’t value their own ideas but instead are directed to this list or that list, this book or that book with an outline or steps of what someone believes good teachers do. Their periphery vision leads them from one thing to another but they don’t focus on developing their own unique voice as a teacher. Todd Henry describes this a ‘peripheral paralysis‘ – unable to make progress because you are constantly drawn from one thing to another, comparing what you do to what they do.
Develop Your Voice
We’ve all read somewhere the quotes about you’re either building your dream or you’re building someone else’s. There are many people who will sell you their idea of education and teaching. Many sound great and get you excited but eventually you’re looking for the next book or list or conference workshop. Why?
Like anything that is worthwhile, you need to build your own version not someone else’s. It requires putting in the effort to truly find your own voice as a teacher, what works for you within the classroom, and developing the habits and structures to nurture your own learning and growth and that of your students.
Finding your voice as a teacher is so important. Now more than ever, teachers need to find their own voice and develop their own uniqueness, talents, and gifts.
That is what Teacher Creative is all about – creative, inspirational, sustainable, healthy – create your own voice to help others create theirs.