Letting teachers believe in their own creativity

Creativity can overcome anything...if you can believe.

Photo of Chris Good
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Chris Barez-Brown tells a story from the world of track and field that showcases the power of belief in overcoming obstacles or tackling the unknown.

"There’s a classic example with Roger Banister. He was the first guy who beat the four-minute mile. Now, nobody believed it was possible until he did. Physicians said the human heart and lungs didn’t have the capacity to carry a man so fast. And yet, Roger Banister managed to achieve the four-minute mile. Within one year, over 30 people had done the same and within three years, over 300 people had done the same. Now, the human species hadn’t suddenly become faster and stronger, they just believed."

Teaching is often about taking on the unknown, and professional development is all about embracing it. How might professional development give teachers creative confidence and the power to believe?


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Photo of Paula Marra

Hi Chris, I like this very much: "Teaching is often about taking on the unknown, and professional development is all about embracing it." and now I am curious how would you answer your HMW?

Photo of Dan Blake

I can't speak for Chris, but for me, creative confidence can only come from taking risks and doing things you didn't even know you were capable of doing. The question I would have is how often are PD experiences crafted in a way that even allow teachers to take risks, explore, and move beyond their comfort zones?

Photo of Paula Marra

Hi Dan,

I would say not often enough....unfortunately! We must come up with an amazing reimagine PD here so we can spread worldwide!

Photo of Jessica Lura

I agree. How do we shift from PD being focused on information dissemination to pushing teachers to grow and move beyond their comfort zone? I was okay with info dissemination whenI started teaching but I wonder if that was because there was not as much information online--I had to go to workshop/training/PD to learn about the topic. Now I can just look it up online and read about it. Just like the abundance of information is shifting how/what we teach students, it needs to also shift what we do in PD sessions.

Photo of Jessica Lura

I think that using school-provided PD time to work on teachers' creative confidence & pushing them out of their comfort zone is important (since it's something that most people won't chose to do). I've taken to doing tinkering activities in my PD where most teachers feel like they don't know what to do at first but manage to either persevere or at least muddle through it. It always elicits a lot of laughter and really good reflection at the end--"I thought I couldn't do it but can, I know how my students feel." I feel like a series of low-barrier/low entry hands-on activities can help improve their confidence in being makers, designers, and creative.