Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Teacher Wanted: Leave Creativity at the Door

In many educational spheres creativity is not wanted or welcome.

Teachers are seen as robots who carry out orders--the good soldiers in the field.

For many this is probably exactly what they expected when they signed on to teach. They are the good soldiers--the educators who carry out the orders sent.

I must say that I enjoy learning and creating as much as I enjoy teaching. I find that the two go hand in hand, and when I'm able to tailor the learning to the students I teach, I gain tremendous joy from the success and result of those lessons.

Without the freedom to create and collaborate, the job is quite dull--a list of duties rather than a profession, work instead of craft.

It's so very discouraging, but as noted earlier, it's often the way it is.

I guess I was a fool to think that learning, creating, and collaborating were welcome parts of the teaching/learning path. For too long I've struggled with the desire to teach in a vigorous, creative way when what's welcome is more dutiful and routine--follow the path directed.

When I arrived at the teaching/learning door thirty-one years ago, it was a vibrant place to be. Even up until the recent past, it held room for creativity, innovation, and collaboration, but now that's going away.

So many wonder why there is a teacher shortage. I believe this is one reason. Without much choice or voice, teaching does not hold interest or opportunity. There's nowhere to put the learning and investment you bring to the career path.

In time I'll figure out what to do with this dilemma, and in the meantime, I'll do as I'm directed since I need my job to support my family. It's just so difficult to do a job directed when you know you could do a much better job if you were allowed to use your creativity, experience, and knowledge. This is a very, very difficult turn in the road, one I never expected in teaching year 31.