Can’t imagine what I could imagine. Wax on, wax off.

Can't imagine what I could imagine. Wax on, wax off.
Can’t imagine what I could imagine. Wax on, wax off.

I can’t imagine how imaginative I was when I was young.

A bit of a mouthful to say and really confronting to accept.

” I am not as creative as I once was” is something that I hear all the time from teachers who bemoan the the passing of time and it’s effect on our imaginations.

Sadly, for many, the “wax on, wax off” of teaching is what wears us down and stops us from seeing why we got into teaching in the first place. Oh those idealist days of changing the world, of unleashing the power of the next generation. That in itself was our imagination taking over. The reality may be the marking, the planning, the constant meetings took all the dreams away. And there , with the dimming of the lights of idealism is the distancing of ourselves from our creative glow. How dare we let imagination poke it’s naive head through into a world of crushing buracratic nightmares!

And worse! Now “they”, those that run education from afar, are demanding creativity and imagination. “They” are bringing all these devices and technology into the classrooms and asking, no, demanding that we unleash the creativity and imaginations of our young charges! What for? To build them up to be disappointed.

Well, no, I am not going there. In fact that’s not who I am as a teacher , never have been.

Imagination and the creativity that may go with it are two of the most lauded traits of many trades and teaching certainly needs more of both. However, the trade is nothing without craft. Craft comes from time, on the job, simply doing, and no amount of imagination or creativity can replace those hard earned years of simply doing.

Sure I worry that I am not as creative as I may once have felt I was but the years have also helped me leave go of putting pressure on myself.

Every year of teaching is a new opportunity to try just one new thing.

One new thing in planning, one new thing in classroom management, in marking and grading, in use of tech, in interactive and collaborative activities and so on in all the areas that a teacher needs to master.  All those one new things add up, over five years, ten years, twenty years, until one day someone says to you that you are a very creative teacher!

You can modestly say no, not really, but sometimes it is easier to go with that than to explain that it is craft .

After all, who are you to get in the way of what people imagine.


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