Let the imagination flow

#saskedchat blogging challenge no.2.

How can we foster imagination in the classroom? Why is it important for kids to be able to use their imagination in school?

It took me a while to write this, because I know it is important for kids to use their imagination anywhere but I really did not know how can I foster it in classroom. And here is why I did not know.

I am pretty good with my hands and I can draw or create things fairly well. And while I was helping in classrooms as an EA or doing some after school programs, I found many times that some students (not everyone, but quite few sometimes) did not want to try to make/draw something after seeing what I did. They wanted me to make things for them, they wanted something that made pretty already. Or simply to copy what I did.

Perhaps they are so used to having patterns or models to create something. Look at the store, there are too many KIT of somethings. At school, there are crafts for bulletin boards that everybody make same things. I am not saying that is terrible, because it foster to develop the skills to follow directions (listening, literacy, hand-eye coordination, manipulation, and many more) to meet the targets.

I said I am pretty good with my hands, but I should say I am good with following directions. I had good training for that from formal schools. So I have really hard time creating/drawing things without some sort of model, I can’t use my imagination well. Usually what I imagine (or think I should say) are something safe, things that I know it works because I’ve seen it somewhere. That’s right. I am not imagining freely, I am thinking. I am reasoning and making conscious rational decisions on what it should be like all the time.
Perhaps, I am afraid to let go of my rational.

So how can I foster imagination in classroom? How can I encourage children’s imagination and creativity.

And there, I stopped my writing. I needed some insight. So I read blog posts from Kelly Christopherson (Teachers as Creatives and Untethering Imagination) and Alan Stange (There is no box).

Their posts are very positive and encouraging, reminded me that we, educators are all creative beings. I still remember when I entered education program in U of R and stunned by the fact that there are no lesson plans laid out for us. Curriculum is not really a lesson plan, it is goals. Teaching is autonomous profession, permitted to be as creative as we want to be. And with our creativity, we plan for students’ successes.

I would like to finish this post with inspirational words of wisdom from Kelly and Alan.

“– teaching is a profession that, at it’s heart, is a creative endeavour every single day! It’s about being helping other achieve their greatest potential and supporting them as they find their own creativity and passions.” – by Kelly Christopherson: Teachers as creatives, Educational discourse

“As teachers, we need to introduce possibilities in student’s minds. Mostly, they will run with them.”

“We don’t need to think outside the box. We need to realize there is no box.” – by Alan Stange: There is no box, Edustange