Every night I go to bed, I have thoughts swirling in my head. Things to do. Scrapbook pages I want to create. Gifts I want to make. Skills I want to learn. And, of course, daily happenings that I don't want to forget, but invariably will by tomorrow morning, only to pop up in a random thought weeks down the road. So, here I am. I may use this blog daily to empty my head and heart before cuddling up in my duvet, or as it may be, I may write in it once a month. Who knows. It is for me, but perhaps something I write or learn may spark a fire in someone else. Perhaps it may quiet a mind or make you feel like you are not alone out there. It is for me. But perhaps it is for you.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I recently watched Sir Ken Robinson's video from TED talks which delves into the idea that schools kill creativity. http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

It was an interesting and thought-provoking video which made me think about the role creativity plays in my life, and in my teaching.  I would never say I'm an artist, but I love to create.  Scrapbooks, collages, poetry, abstract pastels and paintings - these are my outlets and personal expressions.  Did I do well in art in the public education system?  No.  Do I still love it, yes. But I do if for myself now, rather than for assessment.  Assessment can be scary.  It really makes me question giving a grade in Fine Arts at all...what is the point?  (Most days I wonder what is the point of assigning grades to any subject or skill, but that is a whole other topic.)  Back to Art...who am I to judge how skilled others are, in techniques that I myself would not excel in?  I can teach skills and be a guide on the journey to discovering the joy in expression in all forms, but beyond that, again, who am I to judge?

I remember in high school when a certain Art instructor was attempting to help me improve my painting, but he took the pencil and brush in his own hands and went over my own work with his ideas and 'improvements.'  I don't remember it being traumatizing, but it definitely had an impact.  Perhaps this is why I cannot bear to call myself an artist...

Creativity - if we were just all allowed the freedom to explore art in its various forms for pure enjoyment.  I see my son dipping his brush, the same one, in multiple paint colours <gasp> without cleaning off his brush in between <double gasp> and throwing (sometimes literally) paint on the paper without planning  or worrying about what it will look like.  He sometimes does one brush stroke and is done.  Other times he sprays paint on for 10-15 minutes at a time.  When he is done, he stops.  Is it a picture that I can decipher? No.  Did he enjoy himself? Absolutely.

We could all do with more time to explore our creative side.  And yes, I do believe we all have one.  We spend so much time, as Sir Ken puts it, on one side of our brain.  Society rewards it.  Let's play more and celebrate our whole selves.

To do this more often, and encourage it in my students, I have recently picked up a new book (see below) that I am so excited to use on my own and with my students, soooo!...off to play
The Journal Junkies Workshop: Visual Ammunition for the Art Addict

The Journal Junkies Workshop: Visual Ammunition for the Art Addict



  1. Chris, so interesting that an art teacher would take the brush from your hand and change "your" work. Yet, as teachers, "we" often don't think twice about "revising" a student's writing. Both are (or ought to be) creative endeavors. As with Kai we should just "let it be" for kids. Might want to borrow that book of yours!

  2. Nice post Christine! Sir Ken is one of my favourites and he nails it when he says that too often, schools kill creativity. We need to stop teaching obedience and fact-memorization and allow students to explore their creativity and talents! I have rarely explored my creative side but it is something that I wish I would do more of. Thanks for sharing!