Do you ever wonder why some teachers seem to have all the best ideas? Are some people really more creative than others? This month we’re working on a new Discussion Starter lesson about left and right brained thinking, and the research is quite fascinating. Could it be that some people simply spend more time daydreaming?
In our January newsletter we reminded teachers to leave a moment of empty space in their day. Empty space refers to time between activities and chores when nothing is planned. For teachers, recharging your batteries is more than just taking a break from a busy classroom. The moments you spend on your own, with no lessons to plan, no papers to mark, and no emails to answer can spark some great ideas.
Bill Gates is well-known for his Think Week. For many years, Gates dedicated an entire week to thinking about his business. He would go off on a retreat by himself and spend his days just reading and thinking and brainstorming about new ideas. He attributed much of Microsoft’s success to innovations that were born out of these retreats.
Most teachers cannot afford a week alone to read and write and think about how to be more creative in the classroom, but what amazing ideas would they come up with if they could? What if you just had a Think Day each month, or even each semester? What if your next PD Day was a Think Day in which each teacher got to spend a day in a library rather than attending a set of meetings? What if each teacher spent part of that day brainstorming about what could be done differently and then submitted a report or used a program like Scribblar for an online collaboration? Would your administration go for Think Day?