Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Are You Creative?

I've been supervising student teachers this semester, which is one of the best parts of my job as a teacher educator. There are various aspects to this role, including coaching, encouraging, providing ideas and resources, and...of course...evaluation. One part of the multifaceted evaluation I do for each student teacher is to complete a form reflecting on their "dispositions for teaching"--how well do they exhibit the qualities and attitudes our department has identified as crucial for excellent teaching: professionalism, flexibility, resilience, cultural sensitivity, reflectiveness, and the like.

Among the dispositions we look for is creativity.

Via Patrick Johanneson
It seems to me that this is one of the dispositions student teachers most struggle with--for a variety of reasons. Some struggle with the pacing guides imposed upon them, feeling that these squash any creative ideas they might have for teaching. (They have to keep on pace with the other sections of 3rd grade, etc.) Others struggle with the content they have to teach, feeling like it's challenging enough for them--let along their students!--that it's better to just "tell 'em" than try to do anything creative in conveying the content. Others struggle with their philosophies of education, feeling that there may be a mismatch between their ideas of teaching and those of their cooperating teacher. And some simply struggle, feeling that they are "just not creative."

I try to be empathetic with them in any of these cases, but the last one I mentioned above is the most challenging for me to work with. Because I believe that everyone is creative!

I believe that we are created to create! And I have a feeling we often misconstrue being "creative" with being "artistic." But maybe I'm wrong about this. Just what is creativity anyway? Can we develop creativity? Or is it some inborn quality? I'm hoping to gain further clarity on this, so I post this question to you:

Are you creative? 

 The HaikuDeck below gets at some of my thinking about this. I'd love to hear your response.

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