One of the blogs I follow started off by selecting a word of the year. This is a word that she wants to influence her thoughts, feelings and actions for the following year. Initially, I was little cursory. “Yeah, right.” Another way to sucker people into making some new year’s resolution that, typically, will not last and end up making the aforementioned people feel inadequate. And, I moved on.
About half an hour later, this idea of a word of the year popped back into my head. I realized I had already kinda selected a word that I've been working with for the past couple of months. It started back in November…
Last November, I attended a one day workshop by Randy Burke Hensley that focused on information literacy and creativity. Right from the get go, I was jazzed about this. Right up my alley. I love finding new ways to energize and invigorate my library workshops. And Randy Burke Hensley did not disappoint. It was a day filled with lots of unexpected twists that often took us by surprise and challenged us to rethink how we, as librarians, approach teaching.
Following the workshop, I looked up his references. I now have several titles and articles that are on my Must Read List. I don’t know how much time I spent looking at YouTube videos of different TedTalk speakers about ‘creativity’, ‘creative thinking’ and ‘innovation’. A splendid time sink and I came away feeling awed, inspired and envious. How can I be like this? Present like this? Inspire like this?
So, my word of the year, the word that I want to influence the way I think about resources (kid’s books, kits, and professional teaching materials), about teaching these resources and finally the way I want student-teachers to think about resources after my sessions, is creatively.
Creative and its offshoots, creatively and creativity is (are) my word(s) of the year. I want to think beyond the obvious. I want to be open to, and actively find, new ways of thinking. And, I will try my hardest to revisit each session I teach and see something different about it. What worked or what didn't. Newer resources or maybe older ones to demo. Revitalize my activities. Less of me talking and more of students working. And take risks; actually try different things. Be open to finding new ways to teach. (I do some of this already but sitting in Randy’s workshop made me realize that I could be doing more.)
Two books I’m working through right now are:
Being Creative Inside and Outside theClassroom: How to Boost Your Students’ Creativity – and Your Own by John Baer and James C. Kaufman
InGenuis: a Crash Course On Creativity by Tina Seelig.
Stay tuned. I’ll periodically update you about how I do.