If you read my blog on a regular basis and have become a follower of my 'Personal Thoughts and Stories' then you probably are beginning to gain a greater understanding of what I'm like as a person and perhaps learning from the fact, I don't always think or do what other normal human beings do.
This doesn't mean to say that I'm different, peculiar or weird in any way. I'm not! I'm just myself and that's the way I like it. You see, I do possess an active, creative mind, that is always thinking one step ahead and always thinking out of the box.
There's nothing wrong with being that way... right?
At least by explaining this, I feel like I'm being honest and then will continue to tell it like it is. With that said, my latest blog post(s) attempts to harmoniously entwine my love of the Great Outdoors with my creative ideas and instincts.
I really hope you enjoy it!
Setting a Challenge
As a child I was always spending my time in the outdoors, climbing trees and rolling in mud. I had a great fascination with the world and would often pose many questions about the world around me and how things connected to one another.
My creative and exploratory mind would always seek answers to the questions and solutions to the problems. So much so, I was always keen to embrace the challenge, step out of my comfort zone, in order to develop myself as a person.
I guess some of the principles highlighted above eventually shape you and perhaps help determine your path in life. My chosen path was to become a teacher and inspire through the ability to lead by example and encourage others to embrace opportunities much the same way as I did.
Of course, it is not easy, as we all see things differently and inevitably learn at different rates and in many different ways. As a teacher, what I can do is to facilitate learning opportunities to help ignite inquisitive minds, so that those questions become answered. Allowing us to see the world in a completely different way and then taking our individual learning to a whole different level.
One of the many positives about being a teacher is that I have the ability to make a change and the ability to realise and then release someone's creativity. It is something I love to do, probably the best part of my job and something I have learnt to appreciate and develop over the years.
Despite being the child who loved climbing trees, rolling down steep hills and playing in the thick mud. I was also the child who sat at the back of the classroom, picking my nose, looking out of the window and wishing for the bell would ring, so that I could slip out of the door, go home and just play outside.
I was never that good at school. Many teachers were probably frustrated by me, as all I seemed to be interested in was Geography or simply playing Sport. Perhaps (in my early days) to be inspired by writing or within a maths lesson was never really my thing. It wasn't until I became a little older and found my niche or perhaps even become inspired by the right kind of teachers. That were able to find my inner creative self, nurture it and allow me to believe in myself.
So... what exactly... is a STICK?
Currently, in my classes at school. We continually set time aside throughout the week, in order to be CREATIVE and provide opportunities whereby all children can be involved in activities that help them to develop Critical Thinking, Team Work and Risk Taking.
My class is made from 8 and 9 years old, all abilities, different languages (spoken at Mother Tongue) and of course come from different cultural backgrounds. Their minds are like sponges. They are continually interested in learning and enjoy developing themselves as learners, by doing something completely different and wanting to succeed at something new.
As their teacher, I not only have a duty of care, but I also must keep the learning interesting, varied and fun.
Our Creative Thinking lessons always have a pretty simple objective, that is easy to follow by all involved. It often involves using the outdoors with the underlying principles of doing something enjoyable, learning from it and then using the skill again in life.
We always start with a simple idea, which can then easily evolve into something bigger. That might mean being inspired by a piece of creative writing, artwork or even within our maths lessons. We collectively believe that The World is your Oyster and that anything is possible.
For our most recent activity, I posed the open-ended question... 'What is a Stick?'
The responses were somewhat amazing, funny and also very inspiring. By using talk-time and then developing an ability to confidently share those thoughts through spoken words was quite remarkable and it made me feel so proud of the overall intelligent responses from my class of young creatives.
After establishing and then writing a class definition of what a stick actually was?? I then asked the class to come up with 50 different ways a stick could be used?
This was greeted with 21 beaming smiles, whoops and cheers, together with plenty of fist pumps. Fist pumps are great... but there's always a time and a place for them and this certainly was the time and the place.
After following specific instructions to work in pairs, discussing responses and then capturing ideas on blank pieces of paper. This became the main focus for the first part of the activity. From this point on the overall outcome was left up to the children. A freedom to think freely and develop ideas with an open mind is a really beautiful thing.
So what did we come up with?
Collaborating and Sharing ideas
Each group of pairs then worked together. Discussing their thoughts and then created a list of 50 ideas. We then used 'talk-time' and discussed and raised further points around these ideas. Subsequently, we then created a whole class list of 50 great creative ideas. A list of those ideas is highlighted below:
From this point on the children took an idea from the list, developed the thought process and began to plan and then produce a workable model.
The whole process of ideas, to planning to implement was pretty inspiring and I was particularly delighted with the overall outcome. Here are just a few of their creative designs.
I decided when compiling this blog post to write it in two parts, therefore, the first blog will focus on the objective, ideas, the planning stage and the development of those plans. The second blog post will then focus on the overall outcome.
Again, it is something new and I'm pretty determined to vary all of my posts and not solely focus on the same things all the time. As a result of this, I really hope that you enjoy what you see/read and I hope that it does serve as inspiring content for others to then use in the future.
As you know I'm an advocate of the Great Outdoors and really find it of great importance to fully utilise what you find around you. In order to create something inspiring and perhaps even unique. To me, it is all about taking a risk and thinking out of the box. It is not that difficult or perhaps even beyond us all to share similar thoughts. We just need to change our mindset, break away from the old routine and do something that perhaps we've always wanted to do.
...for reading this post and any other. I always appreciate anyone that does. It is all very humbling.
So, that I can continue to develop good content and also learn from my mistakes. Constructive feedback is always very welcome. A comment and a share go a long way.