How often do teachers who believe in the power of creative experiences engage in creative endeavors outside of the classroom, on their own time? We prompt children with paint, clay, fabric, and glue in the classroom, but how do we prompt our own new work? How do we work that creative muscle?
I was thinking about this quite a bit as 2013 drew to a close. I thought about drawing/painting everyday...I used to draw and paint all of the time! Then I thought about sewing: functional creativity! And one of my main loves, photography. But creativity does not need to be constrained to the visual arts, so I hope that 2014 is just plain creative. I know there will be benefits for me, and in the classroom.
One creative commitment I have made is a 365 photography project. In an effort to document daily life and stretch myself as a photographer, I'll be taking my digital camera everywhere with me, taking photos, and sharing a photo of each day this year. You can see that project over on flickr.
The word "creativity" feels like the opposite of laziness. And when I get finished with teaching, I tend to be downright lazy. Doing things for ourselves is important because overall happiness and well being trickles right into the classroom. I hope you might consider painting, cooking, dancing, playing the piano, sewing, gardening, drawing, digging, brewing, baking, synchronized swimming - anything, really - this year in an effort to promote your personal creativity. Chances are we'll all be inspired to share some of those creative experiences with children!