Do I have a pirate in my soul? I hope so. As I have been reading and following along with Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess I have gotten stuck on chapter 4, Ask and Analyze. Stuck you say? Well, not stuck exactly....but I do want to wrap my head around a few things before I move on. This chapter is becoming life changing!
So first, THANKS! to Deedee Wills, Fran Kramer, Kathleen Pederson, Hadar Moar, Debbie Clement, Crystal Radke, Deanna Jump, Heidi Butkus, Maria Manore and I have to stop because there are many many more. I have been watching and following you and you have inspired me!
Now...not that I didn't ever think that these talented teachers weren't working hard. I know they are working hard....long hours, taking classes and workshops, continuing to learn, reading, researching, practicing and trying out new things. Not that I didn't know that not everything they did worked out the way they wanted it to the first time. I know that. My brain knows that....my heart, well, that's another story. I still want to say they are naturally more talented than me. Their creativity comes easier, they are naturally better. That's where I am stuck. Stuck trying to get my heart to believe what my brain knows.
Dave Burgess says, "Creativity results from properly directed attention, laser-like focus, relentless effort, and hard work. Like any skill it takes practice and effort." He reminds us that when we use those six terrible words, "It's easy for you. You're creative." We dismiss all the hard work and effort put into all those lessons we so admire. He reminds us that as outsiders we "see the glorious results but know very little about the blood and sweat that happens behind closed doors."
I do not not want to dismiss the hard work and effort of those I so admire. I know they work hard. I just feel inadequate and that is where I need to focus. That is where I need go to gain my pirate soul.
I have often said that my best teaching ideas come at the last minute. I have been willing to change my plans as a better idea comes along. I am beginning to realize that those ideas come because I have been putting in the work of planning, researching, pondering. Dave Burgess says, "You absolutely will receive creative inspirations out of nowhere and at the oddest times, but you will only get them if you put in the work on the front end."
I have also said my talent is recognizing a good idea. I haven't really thought about that as being my own good idea. Another quote form the book that I love is, "Commit. Start working. Then, be open. Recognize this providential assistance when it comes, and leap to take advantage of it."
Dave suggests that we figure out a way to record those ideas when they come. My mom is an author and she keeps a notebook by her bed. She said she lost too many good ideas she had in the middle of the night. She was sure she would remember them when she got up, now she writes them down no matter what time it is. She also has a notebook and scraps of paper (envelopes, flyers, notecards) with her all the time. I have taken to carrying a small spiral notebook in my purse. iPads and iPhones and other technology that people carry around with them are probably good choices for some, but I am much better with a paper and pencil. Ideas get lost and forgotten and never seem to be as good when you try to remember what that perfect flash of inspiration was.
My new goal is going to be, "an open mind, and the willingness to suspend disbelief in (my) creative ability" That is where I think I will find my pirate soul. I want to print this out and glue it on my lesson plan book and my mirror at home.
Thanks to Michelle at the 3am Teacher for the fun frame and Kevin and Amanda for the fonts. Click here if you want to grab one for yourself.