WOW! Her bulletin board looks amazing.
Did she really come up with that idea for their writing assignment or did she find it on Pinterest?
Maybe she is the inventor of Pinterest.....
How does she have time to teach about life cycles, hatch chickens, tadpoles, and butterflies, create a book about each that she hand wrote and designed the pictures herself, take the class on a scavenger hunt to find all these animals in the wild, go on a field trip to the zoo and then tie it all in with her common core standards?
I mean really. Why not just fly around like the Superwoman your are....we know you're undercover.
As teacher's we've all wondered about how to fit it all in. Sometimes it can be discouraging to see how other teachers have allotted their time for creativity in the classroom. It is so important that we generate creativity and wonder in the minds of our students, but how can we do all the cute, time consuming things that seem to really stand out in the world of educators?
Then it dawned on me one day.
It's kind of silly for us to picture a "Creative Teacher" as one whose classroom reflects the elaborate pages of the all encompassing "Pinterest" (which is my total fave and will continue to be the ultimate killer of my free time). While those things are fun and definitely noteworthy, we must really stop to consider what being a creative teacher really means.
Really, the concept of creativity in the classroom includes numerous factors. Just think....have you ever thought about how much creativity is involved in differentiating effectively? Man alive! I tell you what! You seriously have to think "outside of the box" in order to cover the ever widening ability ranges in the general ed classroom. If you are differentiating....you are a CREATIVE TEACHER! We already do this is so many way, too. Guided reading, centers, grouping, partners, assignments, guided math, etc, etc, etc.
You know what else? What teacher out there has never run out of something they needed? UM....Kleenix anyone (and yes using your "sleeve" counts as a creative alternative...just kidding. Don't do it.)? Well, if you are one of those teachers finding alternative resources to use when supplies run out, well congratulations.... you're being CREATIVE!
(If you are like me, you have no glue when it comes time for Christmas crafts and students are bartering for the 2 red crayons left in the whole room....lol)
To be honest, I have not thought of myself as a creative teacher because I am not consistently able to have extraordinary lessons with tons of experiments and fancy assignments. However, creativity is actually a much broader concept than the "dog and pony show" type lesson plans. I realize that I AM more creative than I thought. And so are you.
Think about it. We find ways to assess students without always giving them a test. We use questioning to differentiate and initiate rigor. We strive to teach across cultures and promote tolerance and awareness. We encourage group and partner work to promote development of creativity and social interactions. We rattle our brains to find better ways to keep students engaged. We find ways to better communicate with and relate to parents.
We are awesome. People may not realize how creative you are....but I do. Be proud of yourself! Being a teacher demands creativity. It does not, however, demand that you do everything at an "over the top" intensity level. Meeting the needs of your students is the part that matters. If you're working toward that...then you are a CREATIVE TEACHER!