Friday, November 28, 2008

Create/Innovate/Teach

This morning we woke up to an eerie stillness in our house. There was not whir of fans, no hum of computers, no glow from the microwave, no alarm clock blarring it's annoying little squeal.

Sometime during the night we'd lost power.

Whilst I love living in a semi-rural area, there are times when things like our reliance on the pump for running water is annoying. Thankfully they happen rarely and when they do happen it gives us time to get creative about ways to entertain ourselves - this morning we played "file Nic's marking". Yay!

It also reminds me that we don't need all the whiz-bang flashy stuff to do our jobs well. So many teachers seem to think that without the latest "flexible" furniture they can't play with the concepts behind flexible learning spaces, or that without 1-to-1 using technology in the classroom is just un-doable.

A couple of years ago I was transferred (willingly) to a small rural school as the only drama teacher. We had no laptops for teachers, very few projectors, and the drama room was...let's just say cramped. Going without the wonderful resources and spaces I've seen in other schools made me get creative - I formed a partnership with the local civic centre whose cinema had the perfect sized stage for final performances, I learnt how to make juggling balls (and how to teach how to juggle - although I never fully mastered the art myself), I became an advocate of drama, anytime, anywhere - classrooms, lawns, undercover areas, hallways...you name it we played there (much to the frustration of teachers who like their peace and quiet).

I loved my time at that school. Professionally I grew from being the uncertain, jaded novice to being confident and sure of my ability to just do it. Personally I grew from being incredibly one tracked when it came to my planning and thinking to being far more creative and enjoying the job so much more.

I worry about those teachers who haven't had the chances to be creative like I did, good teaching and certainly innovative teaching cannot be achieved by ordering the 'right' furniture. If you can teach, and innovate, when you're resources are severely limited and/or out-of-date then you're on to something in my mind.

1 comment:

Theatrefolk said...

That must've been an extraordinary experience for your students. Thanks for the inspiration.