10 Things That Creative Teachers Do

Creative Teachers:

1. see how single parts can be put together to make a whole:  

Writing assignment: Select five quotations, one per text, from anything we've read thus far. Find a way to link them together conceptually. 

2.  sometimes hear voices:

Reading strategy: Select the best actor for the character of ____.  Read the dialogue inside your head with his/her voice or do your best impression out loud for the class! 

3.  are humble:

How-to: Find out something your teacher does NOT know how to do (e.g., change the oil in a Harley Davidson). Write a how-to essay, specifically designed with your teacher in mind. The class will pick two that the teacher must do.

4.  see the creativity in others:

Quickwrite: Argue what the teacher should do in this situation. Explain your reasoning. Consider all of the consequences, including that the student needs to learn how to do the math problem! 

5.  see possibilities in blank stares:

Note to educators: These masks cost 50 cents a piece. Provide one per student to create a character. Student must justify his/her design choices in an oral presentation or defense essay.  (Keep options open, but the goal is to defend choices.)

6.  know that sometimes wisdom comes in strange packages:

Discussion:  Ask students to consider a time when they’ve heard valuable advice from someone unexpected. Did they adhere to that person’s advice? Why or why not? 

7. understand connectedness:

BBC:  Facebook Connections Map the World.

Visual Literacy:  Have students analyze the cultural, political, and economic significance of this map. 

8.  find ways to reach kids where they are:

Text Your Homework*

Write a text message to your great-great grandchild. You'll be gone by the time they are born but if you could speak to them and tell them something important about life and how to live it, what would it be?  Have fun and share here. And don't write it while you're driving!

Self Image Upload
It's self-image gut check time. You’re invited to upload a photo of your ideal self. Who do you want to be? A priest? A rockstar? An attorney? One of the nameless of the working stiff masses? Someone laughing with friends? In a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife? Behind the wheel of a large automobile? Take your pic! Don’t break any laws or school policies, and follow our three Ps: no profanity, no pornography, no plagiarism.  Text it .

9.  visualize and follow-through:

Homework: Create a Found Art Sculpture in your backyard. Upload image. Share your thoughts on the “doing” of this sculpture. 

10.  are unafraid of non-examples:

Homework: Create and print an Unhelpful High School Teacher Meme image. Write a paragraph on the back that explains why you chose to word your meme this way.

Mindy, together with some of her former students, recently published Transparent Teaching of Adolescents, a discussion of effective teaching strategies for high school. Join the conversation!

* From Soul Pancake.

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