I went to the Alan November Building Learning Communities Conference expecting to learn lots of great ideas for the classroom and resources that would inspire and engage my students – and I was not disappointed! But, what I never expected was to find so many ways to keep myself inspired and engaged, both as an educator and a human being.
A session led by Amy Burvall entitled Make du Jour: Fostering Daily Creativity with Choice and Voice opened my eyes to the importance of being creative and making things. I always encourage my children to sit down and create, but I can’t remember the last time I joined them. Unfortunately, I have become so busy with “grown-up” stuff that I wouldn’t even know where to begin. But, as Amy urged us, creativity and curiosity can be cultivated and practiced. You must make it a priority. We must seclude ourselves from everyday life and allow ourselves time and space to make and create.
And don’t worry about creating something brand new that has never been done before. Amy is the queen of Remix and assured us that everything is a derivative of something else, we are building and adding on to what has already been done. Just be sure to give credit where credit is due! We have the ability to transform and re-imagine our world. Here is an idea from Amy’s presentation…add your own thoughts to a classic:
So excited to begin, I gave myself time and space….now what? There were no big epiphanies or flashes of inspiration. Then, I remembered an amazing resource Amy told us about…The Daily Create. This website “provides a space for regular practice of spontaneous creativity through challenges published every day.” There are no registrations or prizes, “just a community of people producing art daily. ” Perfect! The best part is you can upload your photography, video, or writing to the website and voila! you are a published artist.
Instead of telling my students to create and make things, now I will feel more comfortable modeling the creative process for them and working alongside with them. The most important thing about creativity: don’t be afraid to fail. Celebrate the process and learn as you go. I keep reminding myself of the quote by Slyvia Plath, “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Let’s build a community of creativity and sharing for ourselves and our students.
What or who inspires you to be creative?