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Friday, October 19, 2012

8. My encounter with creativity

When I came in the director’s office I met so many books that I felt like in a library. I had reviewed some of the titles, others were new topics. So much information about education seemed enough to educate the complete world, so I can’t understand why does everybody talk about the crisis of education?.

When the director take off the phone from her ear, I was sure that she would toss it on my head, but instead she placed it carefully and sat staring me in the eyes and said without pause: "I need that you plan an activity for your group to share during the event that will be conducted on the occasion of the celebration of autumn. 

It may be an activity shared with parents, maybe a play or a musical".

I was silent, only I could ask her when did she wanted it.

I asked her if I could decorate my classroom, which seemed a sterile environment for learning. She looked tired, and said I could decorate it, if I was sure nothing can be taken as cultural discrimination.

I ran away as child who had avoided a scolding, while walking home, I sent an email to Gaby to ask for advice; I had a lot to do that afternoon.

Can you help me?, I plan something for the children for the fall event. I also want to decorate the classroom; you know that I can't do it without you.
Two minutes later she replied me:

Tell me that you need and based on that I can determine how to help you, we're a little busy with conferences, but I always have time for you. Just please do not ask me to help you decorate your classroom, my heels and silk dresses don’t match with manual activities. But I'm going to send copy to your guru, I’m sure she will help you. Just I ask you to have a little patience, she is writing an article that has made her knots.
When I got back home I sat down to think options and then received an email from my guru:

Dear David:
Theatre can be an inclusive activity, the important thing is not to force children to do something they dislike, not all children like dress up, or sing, or talk in public, but imagine that you propose this task to children and tell them that each one can choose their role. You need actors, actresses, singers, musicians, someone in charge of the costumes, decoration; you need someone who is aware that everything works. If someone does not want to participate in any of the above activities that person can be your assistant.
I imagine that one of the skills you must develop in your child is reading and writing, so you can perfectly take this and ask them to write the work, only give them the theme of the autumn and all can feel integrated, pleased with the work and part of a creative project, while  you are  developing  their skills. If you integrated the idea parents, children may feel more support.
About the subject of decoration, ask children what do they want to see every day, but don't forget that stimulus all over the classroom is a two-edged weapon: it can block the attention on what you are saying to them. In addition, if the brain looks at something for a long time, it loses the sense of novelty. 

My recommendation is to use items that are not only a decoration, they send signals to the memory and thus to the learning process. I suggest that the decoration has to do with what you are studying in class during the week, in a way that you take advantage of the space and the classroom becomes a forum for learning, unless the view is directed at a single point. Have you been in an Apple store?, every place has an intention!. You can take advantage of the landscape and the environment. Ask the children something allusive to each topic. You don't have to buy anything, you can ask them dry leaves if your theme is biology, or everyone can cut out a letter or a number, or sharing something that has caused them admiration in a way that all feel integrated, and part of the class. 
My final advice is... maybe your learning scenery can change with each topic, and thus aid to learning to use more brain pathways, not only listening to what you say  to them, but the view, which reinforces what they read. The brain likes to learn, but sometimes it needs a little help.
What the hell was to do the brain in all this? I decided that it was going to be a question that I would personally ask when I would have the chance to meet my guru. Wow, in a few words she had solved my dilemma, and she was busy with an article. 

I replied her that her counsel could not be better and I hoped she could finish soon with her article.

 I couldn't wait to share the idea with the children!. I saved my laptop because we were going to need it to write the screenplay. Hey, could not believe it!, was excited to write a script for a play school!, I always hated acting, singing made me vomit, but I always liked to write scripts. Perhaps only it was necessary to find my talent.

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