The Creative Teacher Project

An NQT Bringing Creativity to the Classroom


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On Becoming A Teacher

on becoming a teacher

This is my last week of practicum. There has been a small, almost imperceptible change over the last two weeks where I’ve become less and less of a student teacher, and increasingly more of a….teacher teacher. I will become a qualified teacher at approximately 3:31 WST on Friday 28 November 2014. Woah.

In my final week on prac I’ve noticed how much my rapport with the girls has changed from my early, hesitant days. Somehow by acting as if I knew what I was doing, I managed to get them to believe that I did. Never, until now, did it cross my mind that, hey, I might just actually know what I’m doing. I’ll take all the fleeting moments of feeling competent that I can get right now, as I am well aware of the fresh challenges that my first year of teaching will bring.

2014 has been a year of huge change in my life; I’ve been living on the other side of the world to my partner, I’ve been dealing with obtaining EU citizenship and on top of that have studied full time and prepared to totally change career. I haven’t had much spare brain power to consider how I will feel when I achieve my goals, especially of making that transition from student teacher to a qualified professional. Now that I have space to do that, I’m filled with the cautious pride of a job well done. There is a time and a place for modesty, and there is an equal but oft-neglected space to celebrate our own achievements, and hey even our own survival through difficult times. I actually made it through, and I only cried once!

I have tried to bring a fresh perspective and a creative outlook to my work this year, and it was in this mindset that I set out to create this here humble blog. I looked for the posts I wanted to read as a student, and when I couldn’t find them (although I am sure that they’re out there), I decided to write them myself. The Creative Teacher Project was never intended to be a space that was primarily about educational strategies, it was always my intention to write about my experience. I’ve tried to write posts I think are relevant to others, but with my own personality in each word, and I like to think that’s come across. I’ve met some lovely people through the blog and through my teaching Twitter account – follow me @createteachproj if you would like to connect there – and that has reaffirmed my belief that writing about my experience is worthwhile.

I’ve struggled to reconcile the idea of creative teaching I had at the beginning of the year with the workload of this year, and I’ve come out the other side of teacher training with a whole new perspective on the ways in which creativity intersects with education. I’m less focussed on my own creative practice now, which may change, but instead I’m even more interested in igniting the creativity and joy of learning in my students. This is a mammoth task, and however noble my intention it is not always to be achieved in a whole career, let alone a 7 week placement in a school!

This placement has given me exactly what I needed – an opportunity to take a long hard look at myself and teaching as a career, and a chance to pull myself together and really feel ready to take on teaching in 2015. I’m so looking forward to it – I hope you’ll stick around next year as I blog about my first year on the job!

Thank you to everyone who has read this blog, commented or given me advice during my studies. I’m eternally grateful for the help I’ve received. If you’ve thought about reaching out – please do. The more creative teachers out there the better!
Sam

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What Happened to Creativity?

On Monday evening, far later than I should have been, I was scrolling through some teaching related tweets. I tweeted about a new post of mine, checked out the #dramaed hashtag, and contemplated letting another Drama teacher know how much I love her blog (I totally chickened out on that one). I felt a bit smug for about 30 seconds, congratulating myself on how well I am doing this whole blogging thing.

Then I switched tabs and caught a view of my latest post. Right up the top, in turquoise letters on my favourite yellow chevron header, was the wake up call I didn’t know was heading my way. The Creative Teacher Project. My blog, about bringing creativity to the classroom. That isn’t what this blog has been recently, instead it’s something more along the lines of Confessions of a Student Teacher.

Although when I created this blog I wanted it to be a place for student teachers to come and find information they weren’t getting at university, I really wanted it to be a place where I discussed and dissected the creative practice of teaching. I missed being creative daily in my last role, and teaching was the path I chose to take instead. But I’ve realised I’m not sharing that creative journey here. 

So I’m going to have a little think about how I can work creativity in here a little more. I mean, it’s my name! I simply have to! But before I do that, I’m going to let myself come to grips with this whole teaching concept first, and I hope you bear with me. Can I become a better, more creative teacher at the same time as I actually become a teacher to begin with? I don’t know.

Shall we find out together?


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Pro…..crastin….ation

How do you get past it?

The scene of my current crimes of procrastination

The scene of my current crimes of procrastination

 

Over the break I settled into a lovely routine of notdoingverymuchthankyou and I have to say I quite enjoyed it. Now I’m back in the real world, I’ve got to get with the program and actually start working to achieve the diploma! Shocking, I know. I have found myself staring blankly at my readings for ten  minutes, scanning the same paragraph over and over again, and I find myself wondering why? It’s not that I don’t find the content interesting – quite the opposite in fact! Is it something to do with commitment? If I actually start reading now, does this mean that I am accepting that I need to commit to the torrent of work that is heading my way this semester? Please say no.

I often wonder if my behaviour is unique. Instinct says no, but one glance around my lecture this morning terrified me – I am surrounded by competent people! Surely they don’t faff around just like me? Who knows.

My technique currently is putting things off for a while, but then knuckling down and just getting on and doing it. I’d love to spring out of bed every morning and be enthusiastic about work, but right now, I guess that’s just not my reality. What about you? Do you struggle with procrastination? I’d be grateful to hear of anyone else’s strategies for overcoming it!


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Let Me Introduce Myself…

Sam

Hello internet!

Thanks for stopping in. My name is Sam and I’m currently splitting my time between Perth, Western Australia and Kent, UK. In March this year, I started my initial teacher training course. I have a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts, majoring in Performance, and will be a qualified Drama teacher later this year, once my Graduate Diploma has been completed!

It’s all very exciting, and that’s part of the reason I wanted to start this blog. I really love hearing the stories of teachers online, and there is a wealth of information and experience out there in the online education community. The voices I’ve missed, however, are from those emerging teachers who are like me! I’m ready to get stuck in and get my grubby hands on a class of teenagers, but the process of learning how to teach has been overwhelming at times. Learning how to plan a lesson, how to program a syllabus and how, exactly, I am supposed to deal with a stroppy teen who won’t listen to anything I say, is some pretty hard graft. I salute all those who have come before me!

Daily creativity is important to me.  So important in fact, that I left my job in finance to start all over again, in a brand new career. Terrifying, yes, but not quite so terrifying as spending the rest of my life in a job where I felt unfulfilled. My content area will allow me to structure lessons in a totally different way to many teachers, but fundamentally I believe that it is possible to keep creativity at the core of any lesson, and almost any class. This is my project: to keep creativity at the heart of my teaching. To be a creative teacher, in what ever format that might be.

So here we are, friends, and let’s get stuck in!