“There are unspoken maxims we embrace as children that even the most educated, experienced, advanced adults should never abandon if we want our days to still fascinate and fulfill us.”
So writes erik wahl in his book Unthink: rediscover your creative genius. I decided to take a few of his words and write them as succinct maxims for teachers. I have also added some commentary to help explain them in an educational setting.
Forget the Rules
“There is something freeing, something magical, something exuberant, about an environment where we are not hemmed in by the rules and time lines and are instead opened up to imagination, possibility, and learning. This describes the landscape of early childhood”
I think creative people are able to find ways to keep in touch with their childhood curiosity and imagination. Although, some people grow up and let that slip away.
We need to let our students play around with the parameters of assignments. We can let them push boundaries in ways that we might not have considered. We can let them colour outside the lines as longs as it is creative, authentic, and purposeful
Refuse to Grow Up
Walt Disney said, “Too many people grow up. That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget. They don’t remember what it’s like to be twelve years old.”
I think, as teachers, we are able to stay in the mindset of children. It helps us connect with them and reach them in ways that we wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.
Never Stop Learning
“As children we were an exploring system, taking it all in to see what might result. We learned like crazy via the constant collision of new pieces of information. Possibilities were endless. Creativity came easy. But as we grew into adults we morphed into an exploiting system that picked and chose intake on a need-to-know basis.”
As teachers, we need to model life-long learning. We can’t allow ourselves to “bogged down in the opinions and conclusions we’ve already formed.”
We have to look for new ways to present and deliver material. We need to reinvent what we do and not get stuck in our own methods, even if they have always worked for us. Each class is unique and new generations of students think in different ways that we should consider.
Be the Best Teacher You Can Be
“Take ownership of your job and elevate it without being asked and without asking. Do what’s best for your work and your company’s success. Earn a reputation for innovation and excellence in every aspect of what you do.”
If this advice is good for any profession, it is definitely good for educators. I want to be know as an excellent teacher who takes the time to come up with innovate ways to teach. I want my students to thrive. This helps not only my students, but the school as a whole, and even the school board.
Read a Lot
This book was not directed towards teachers or educators, but I found a lot in it that relates to my profession. I find that the best books to inform my teaching practice are not specific to education. So, my advice is to read a lot. It is also great to model this for our students.
Check the Archive
There are hundreds of posts that you can look back on that might help you in your classroom. I hope you enjoyed this post and will take a stroll through my other articles.