It is no secret this year has been the most uniquely challenging school year most of us will likely ever face or experience in our lifetime. Regardless of our own circumstances, each of us has undoubtedly encountered our own versions of struggle and strife in the last 12 months. Though a glimmer of light seems to be slowly appearing at the end of this shadowed tunnel, a heavy weight remains resting on the shoulders of our students (and ourselves) as we walk through our new normal each day. It may be our “new” normal, but there is nothing normal about it. Our hybrid learning model, limiting travel or time with family and friends, and relying on device communication, though necessary safety precautions and workarounds, have certainly added new layers of challenge and discomfort for students this year.
Allowing students to tap into their creative side can benefit mental health and attitude, allowing for a brief moment of escapism from the confusing and complicated realities surrounding them right now. We could all benefit from a little escape from time to time, but knowing when and how to jump into a creative journey can be easier said than done sometimes.
We need to pay attention to when we are inspired. The motion of the world swirls around us at lightning speed. To quote Ellen DeGeneres, “Have you ever forgotten what you were going to say … as it was coming out of your mouth?” We have so much information, so many signals, entering our minds at every given moment, it can be difficult to hold on to a single thought for more than a moment at times. So when inspiration does strike, we need to snag it and hold on tight.
As students were settling in to their project work time yesterday, a goofy middle school conversation erupted, like they do. I could not even tell you what led to the question, but one of my 8th grade students said, more to himself than anyone else, “I wonder how much a human eyeball weighs.” He quickly grabbed his iPad, a jaw-droppingly powerful tool, and had his answer in a matter of seconds. Did you know the human eyeball weighs about 7.5 grams? Now you do. The next few minutes were filled with an array of fun human eyeball facts. When he felt satisfied with the amount of information he had gathered, at random, about the human eye, he shifted gears and returned to his passion project work. I am not about to stifle an opportunity for learning that arises when a student has a silly moment of inspiration.
Creativity is flowing in the ARCTIC Zone right now as students plunge into the creation phase of their current Flex projects. The challenge is to design a miniature golf course hole that represents a historical moment or event in time. Do not fret – more to come on these projects as they quickly come to life.
Passion projects continue to encourage and nurture creative thinking.
And finally, short stories are starting to be brainstormed, as we gear up for our upcoming annual Film Festival. If you were tasked to write a short story about anything and anyone, what would you write about? Here are a few story ideas from Cohort A…
- Coral can see ghosts but doesn’t realize until the worst thing happens. She then looks for an answer to why she can see ghosts but only finds one when the unbelievable happens to her.
- This girl Pholish gets trapped in a room by a witch and has to escape if she wants to live. She finds a spell book that has a bobby pin in it and tries to open the door but it does not work.
- It is about a girl who wants to save her town from evil robotic cats.
- My idea is about a kid named Harry who lost his expensive shoes and needs to get them back.
- I like mine about a bear named grizzly and there is a big forest fire. He tries to save all the animals but fails. Later the fire fighters come and put out the fire.
The energy in the room is just different when creation is happening. It’s lighter, lifted. What are you doing to tap into your own creativity? To find a mental escape? Pay attention to your own moments of inspiration!