Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Creativity in Teaching...

When I first started this journey over 2 months ago, I never dreamed the many ways in which Creativity would show itself in my life.  This Monday, I began a substitute teaching assignment to replace a teacher 3 days a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) from now until the Christmas break.  This offers me some predictability in my schedule and also give me some consistency in terms of the young people I am dealing with.  I will be helping a student teacher cope with the teaching load for these classes and also working with struggling learners.

Creativity has its place in Education because we don’t all learn things in the same way.  I went to a French high school in Montreal as a french immersion student and learned most of my courses in a language that wasn’t my mother tongue, so I learned a variety of ways to help myself understand.  I drew pictures, made cartoons and graphed out charts or diagrams to help things make sense.

Tomorrow, I am bringing in our play dough so that the struggling students can BUILD a cell with all of the parts in different colours and shapes of play dough.  I have also come up with a truly dorky rap song about how to learn the chain of plants from algae to bryophytes and tracheophytes (which include spore plants, gymnosperm and angiosperm). It should be interesting at least...if they don’t fall off their chairs laughing themselves silly!

Being Creative in how we teach ourselves to absorb information or learn new things can only enrich the experience...

INHALE:  The more our society advances, the more we learn how different and individual each one of us is.  We are all UNIQUE creations and yet society continues to expect us to behave “en masse” (rough translation- as a group).  Maybe being 6’5” in my bare feet allows me to balk at being fit into a cookie-cutter, one size fits all mold, but I think we do ourselves an INJUSTICE when we expect everything to only go one way.  It might be easier not to have to push the envelope, think outside the box or try new ways of doing something, but that does not mean we shouldn’t keep looking for NEW solutions to OLD problems.

EXHALE: Do you know what your own learning style is (or styles are)?  Do you learn best when you hear something explained? See it done? Try it yourself? Take something apart and put it back together?  Spend a few minutes thinking about this and doodle, write or jot down ideas about what WORKS for YOU in your notebook.  The more you know what works best for you, the easier it is to be Creative within your own style of learning and share that with others to help them learn as well.  Just because something works for someone else, does not mean it has to work for you, so keep searching until you find the key to your own puzzles. That way someday, you can help someone else unlock theirs!

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