Friday, October 5, 2012

Creativity around us happens...

Freebie:  That is quite a water tower there. Sort of cool the way it just stays there and stores water!
(no question today) October 2nd, 2012, looking west into the Troy skyline about 6:43 pm.
What does it take for a teacher to get a lesson into a students' head, get it to bounce around and get the student to want to keep it there?  If we teach it but the students don't get it, we might not have really taught it.  We have presented it but that doesn't mean they understand.  Maybe we consider another approach!  That's when we must think creatively and reach our students on a different level.  Today, we will examine some of those angles.
Any regular readers (if any exist) may remember the value we place on relationship.  A key to adolescent success is them finding an authentic and healthy connection with an adult that shares the struggles and reserves judgement yet still admonishes the youngster regarding the impending adjustments in their lives.  This relationship can be a parent, teacher, or any adult willing to establish a connection with the teen or pre-teen.   As a young person matures, he or she naturally look to others for leadership, confidence and assurance that it can be done; almost like a quest for a real life hero, somebody that will prove that it can be done and done well. These modeling and caring adults exert energy locating events, activities, or even topics of discussion testing creativity, ingenuity and old fashion resiliency while assuring our youngsters that things are going to be OK and it can be done!
We all like a bit a variety in our lives.  A rut is just a grave with the ends kicked out.  If we are bored, we can rest assured the students will also be distracted easily while they try to stay focused but inadvertently daydream or loose track.  Something original is going to be worth watching.  Technology, animation or even inflection in voice, tone and modulation holds attention spans longer than simple monotone presentations.
Less of the Same
Change is not for the sake of change but for the sake of the children.  The world is changing and our wards must be ready to follow and eventually lead those changes.  One reader contributed that babies were "the only people that like change."  The intent or purpose behind change, variety and doing things differently is improved student engagement and not trying to make things tougher for teachers.  Making every day different keeps adults as well as children interested and looking forward to returning.  Professional development, collaboration and teachers working together exploring what does and does not work allows artists/teachers to express themselves according to the language of the audience.
Intrinsic or extrinsic motivation
As a student engages in their own education and receives authentic positive feedback from adults, they begin to understand they are the masters of their destiny and the locus of control begins to shift.  They gain hope that their efforts have an effect on their lives and they begin to take responsibility. A creative environment, where risk is encouraged, endorsed and even rewarded becomes the best motivator, better than money, prestige or power.  Students own their learning and it becomes real to them.  This hope for a better future comes over time, through tests of determination and while iron sharpens iron as adults pass the future to the children.  This is when candy, money and tricks no longer motivate but learning, exploring and successes motivate.

The last blog post asked about the wolves.  In each of us, there is a good wolf and a bad wolf.  Which wolf wins?  THE WOLF WE FEED.  To feed the good wolf, think of good things, not bad; say nice things and see how others respond; refrain from worry and choose the right attitude.

Ok, here's the question regarding the opening photo:  How long does it take for the sun to clear the horizon, measuring from when the edge first touches to when it is fully hidden?

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