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Creativity, Learning and the Summer Term

Samantha shares her thoughts on the last weeks and days of the summer term and the learning that takes place. 

So as a supply teacher we walk into the class room and the students are supposed to, complete a worksheet, finish a poster or create a drawing. They quickly inform you, as you are not their normal teacher that they want to do the group activity they did a few weeks ago or they would like to watch the end of a documentary.

Now of course many students want to do a lot of things that are often unproductive or irrelevant to what we as educators know they should be doing but who says that they are wrong and we are right all of the time. If their mind is thirsty for information, discussion or interaction who are we to say that they should do that or that it would even stop their learning.

On the flip side we cannot let our students gossip all morning, dance around in the classrooms all through lunch and finish on a movie about dancing on cars in a street (step up five anyone?). We can however let them tell us from time to time what they would like to do, how they feel they would like to explore a topic. Being a supply we can occasionally have a slightly looser rein, perhaps once they finish their set work they could discuss the CGI in the latest graphic novel adaptation. Also being the summer term, if all assessments are done and dusted and next year’s work is too much to even think about yet, the last few weeks of school could be the perfect time to pick up the threads of not quite finished units or to allow some creativity in normally academic units.

Personally, I find that learning for me rest on many physiological factors that as an adult I have learnt to discipline but as a teenager I struggled to focus in the classroom. My brain seems to flood with ideas at eleven at night just as it should be resting. I find that in a classroom group setting, I get more from discussing and interacting that I can then later process and write up than I do from writing with someone else’s elbow pressed into mine. Equally watching an informative film will spark my interest that I will later on what to reflect upon.

We could perhaps survive the summer term and the heat of classrooms if we relax the planning slightly and learn from them for a change, ask what they want and see if it helps us all develop, within reason of course.

Samantha is secondary drama teacher and is currently in a long-term role in East London. She blogs regularly so if you enjoy her blogs you don't need to wait long until the next one. 

Tags: Samantha, Bromley, Secondary, drama, supply, daily, teacher, creativity, learning

Category: Australian Teachers

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