Creativity-Where is it Going?

piano rainbow

Creativity: the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

A quick search on Google tells us exactly what creativity is, and I particularly like this definition because it uses the word ‘imagination’.  With this word I begin to remember my childhood and the games my brothers and I would play outside.  We built a magical world, Bananko, and spent hours running through forests, fighting trolls, dragons and goblins, and restoring kingdoms to their original splendor.  As kids, creativity came naturally.  If we ran out of adventures, my brothers and I would draw a map to a new island with untold treasures.

Unfortunately, age caught up with us and our creativity and imagination died away.  But why? Why did Bananko suddenly disappear from our minds and our backyard?

As people get older, their imagination disappears unless they are encouraged to use it.  Too many of today’s schools are focused on creating functioning citizens who will contribute to the world in some way.  This means that schools are concerned about the basics, like math, reading, and writing.  I’m not saying that these things aren’t important, but because of such a determined method, the arts are pushed aside.  Even in writing, students are pushed away from writing stories for fun that trigger the imagination.  Students are forced to write dull papers that take away their voice.

Schools are set up very anti-creatively.  White or beige walls, hard seats, posters that are supposed to be encouraging but were probably there when my parents were in school.  All of these things make for a depressing learning environment that limits creativity.

In my classroom I want to promote creativity.  I want to have a colorful room, decorated with movie posters and student art.  I want to have a reading corner with bean bag chairs (even though I’m going into secondary education).  I want to spark the imagination my students might have been discouraged to use as they grew older.

Not only do I want to boost creativity in my students, but in my co-workers as well, so we can all work as a team to produce more imaginative groups of dream chasers.  This is what I want.  This is what I will spend my life working for, because somewhere along the road, one of those kids will reach their dream, and will move on in their life to help more kids chase their dreams.

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