For the last month (well, 5 weeks I guess) I’ve been participating in a MOOC entitled “5 Habits of Highly Creative Teachers” which, to be honest, I started on a whim. It’s only the second MOOC so far that have seen through to conclusion, and I’m really pleased that I have done so. It’s really made me think about certain elements of life and how to open up opportunities for myself.
The 5 habits, briefly stated, are: Curiosity, Remix, Tribe, Fail & Thrive, and Reflect. Naturally this blog post is the culmination of the reflection part of the course. Each habit has opened up my thinking in many ways.
Curiosity: I am almost addictively curious and that is certainly no small factor in why I even began this course. I can’t stop learning, reading, watching, discovering. But, what this course really lead me to consider is how to instil this curiosity in the students I teach. Ceratinly, I can (and do) model curiosity: always telling them about the latest thing I’ve seen or learned, but I think in future I will consider activities that actively require my students to develop the habit of curiosity.
Remix: The idea that, really, nothing is ‘brand new’. Every creation is the result of repeated iterations, developments, incremental contributions by different people. I discovered some fun tools (apps) to experiment with, and it felt good taking someone’s creation and then furthering it with my own views and experiences. It also felt great seeing how my work (a poem set over a photo) inspired another to create something.
Tribe: I already make use of Twitter to connect with maths teachers in both the UK and US, but this module really made me reflect on wider aspects of my character and my interests and to crystallise these ideas. I came up with an almost cryptic set of lists, but ones which would capture people’s curiosity and help the right people ‘click’ with my way of perceiving and interacting with the world. A question still open in my mind is how to now cast this net so that my tribe can grow?
Fail and Thrive: Take risks! “They can only say no” is something I have written about on Google+. Although I am not averse to taking risks and am resilient enough to see failure as a learning mechanism, I did consider that I probably have more opportunities for risks than I currently take. I do see strong parallels between “risk taking” and “experimentation” and think I almost prefer the second term – it has a slightly more optimistic sound to it in my mind.
Reflection: As I have stated above, this post is really my (brief) reflections on the whole course. I don’t think it is so easy to consolidate into words (or images, or video or..) my entire thoughts about this course so soon after it has ended. Interestingly, and coincidentally, synchronicity is a concept I have heard of before but never actually heeded. But this very week, I experienced what this truly means and have written about it in my “They can only so no” post to which I alluded to earlier.
This has been an excellent, though fast-paced MOOC, and I really recommend you take part in its next presentation!
As a further consequence (for want of a better word) of this course, I have discovered two further concepts that I am eager to explore: Firstly, urgence vs. importance. So much of what we do in our daily lives is the urgent business that, in fact, the important things get left untouched. It’s essential to make the time and space for clarity of thought, perception and evaluating what is important. Secondly, linked to this, I have begun reading Discardia: More life, less stuff by Dinah Sanders. I live in a cluttered home and have an equally cluttered mind and daily (weekly, monthly..) schedule. So, not only am I using the techniques in the book to take control of the space of my home environment, I’m also extending them to help clear my mind, improve my focus and also reduce what feels like a hectic daily, weekly and monthly calendar. It’s a long journey ahead, but one which will bring uncountable benefits!