Doing It for Themselves

As a writer, you have to be creative. To be creative, you have to do two things: 1) Splash out lots of ideas; 2) Throw away all the ones that don’t work. To succeed at No.1 you must be willing to make a fool of yourself. Just do it. See what happens. Who cares what anyone thinks? To succeed at No.2 you must get rid of everything that doesn’t work: ideas, forms, structures, sentences, words, punctuation marks. Everything must go.

As a teacher, you have to be creative, and to share in the creativity of others. When you’re new to teaching, you do mostly No.1, but over time you get to No.2. Other people can give you advice and support, but in the end it’s you in a room with some kids. It can never be the same twice, no matter how many structures we help you impose on it. There are always those pesky/wonderful kids in that blasted/brilliant room.

If you give teachers a tightly scripted lesson plan, or a choreographed set of classroom management rules, you strip out all the creativity. You remove the decision making, the imaginative, the personal. You say that you know what will happen before it has had the chance to take place. This is not to say that the process is entirely random – we are all building on what came before. I love to share what I’ve found out with you. But I don’t want to create a script for you and your children, because you are perfectly capable of doing that for yourselves.

This entry was posted in Teaching, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Doing It for Themselves

  1. basstubes says:

    A lesson for all professionals I think. Sadly our narrow uninspired leaders would homogenise us all.


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