Wednesday / May 29

8 Tips for Creativity From a Creative School

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
–Scott Adams

“Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.”
–William Pollard

“Creativity is the key to success in the future.”
–A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

I love quotes. I read and live by their meanings every day. When one single statement can inspire your thinking and even your life, it is worth saying and thinking. While the quotes make me think more creatively and critically, it is my actions that bring about the transformation of who I can be and what I can do to make school a better place for everyone.
I get really excited when I learn something new. I don’t always know all the intricacies or the details, but I take a risk with the idea. As I unfold what could be done, I implement the steps and if they don’t work out, I try another way. We need more persistence and grit in today’s society. We need to enhance these character strengths in our students. We need to model these virtues as examples that all people have struggles, make mistakes and work through them.

Creativity brings optimism and hope. It allows one to dream and wonder. It makes dreams come true. You need to have the courage to take that leap. It will be a challenge that motivates and excites. Why wouldn’t you be creative in your profession if it triggers positive feelings of accomplishment?

We all need to be innovators and inventors at our workplace. We all need to improve ourselves by refining the structures already in place. Everything can get better. When something gets better, everyone celebrates and there is joy. So, creativity brings joy.

I have exercised the greatest level of creativity at my school, Norwood STEM Program. When I see a problem, I brainstorm possible solutions. When I see something that could be better, I figure out a different way. When I encounter something wrong, I make it right. When I see something that lacks beauty, I redesign it. What is even better is that I invite and encourage my staff to be creative on a daily basis. When we used our creative energies in our planning, researching, and teaching, great things happened. And even better things happened when our students used their creative juices.
Norwood is an amazing place to learn. We are a learning center and have many visitors throughout the school year visit and observe. Our visitors learn from us and we learn from them. Sharing ideas in a creative exchange makes one’s job more meaningful and enjoyable. At Norwood, we value creativity in everything we do. We do things differently and take pride in our creations.

Here are some of our inventions, innovations, and creative ways:

1. The “Norwood Project Stream” is a renovated school bus turned science lab. It travels to three neighborhoods in the community each week with science experiments to be done. Be original!
2. We found that our students needed to release their frustrations and relieve stress at different times during the day. As a healthy way to address this, we created “Take Ten” charts for students to get the wiggles out and regain a positive attitude. They love it! Be imaginative!
3. Let kids bring their ideas to life: develop a maker space for engineering and designing solutions to problems. Be inventive!
4. Bring the sliding board in the classroom. We built a sensory room so all students and teachers have a place to decompress and regain peacefulness. Fifteen minutes a week, each class receives a mindfulness session using all the relaxation and sensory stimulation tools and equipment. Be expressive!
5. Why only have one way to greet each other? Provide some choices. Be open minded!
6. We want everyone to read whenever they can. We want everyone to have fun reading. We want everyone to read wherever. So, we developed the Norwood Book Nooks, placed outside around the school. Be visionary!
7. Because we need freedom and inspiration to generate creativity, our Secret Garden is the perfect area to make this happen. Be inspired!
8. Our custodian was creative in his attire. He supported literacy by being a character while cleaning. Be unusual.

Be creative. Step outside that box. Be original. You can do this.
Let your creativity flow! Let me know if it makes you glow! You will never know, unless you let creativity show!

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