If Not Now, When?

778. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

Megan-The-Brilliant sent me a text this morning. She is attending a state teachers conference. Her text said: I’m in a conference where the keynote lecture is on the importance of creativity. Novel, huh? How many times will we say this before we do something about it?

It’s a great question: How many times will we say this before we do something about it? It’s a question that generations of educators have been asking. Literally. Generations. How many times will we say this before we do something about it? Later in a phone conversations she said, “If I hear another person state the obvious I’m going to puke.” She also said, “I’ve had it.”

I’ve heard that a lot lately. The amazing educators, the fire starters, are taking their fire elsewhere. When survival is the best a teacher can do, when thriving is out of reach and dowsing fire is the aim of the system, the choice is to be dowsed or to go make creative fire where fire is welcomed. Think of this: teachers can leave in disgust but students have no choice but to be dowsed. And make no mistake, their fire is being dowsed. And, as levels of absurdity stack upon levels of absurdity, listen to the overriding complaint of businesses about new hires: where’s the self-direction? Where’s the critical thinking and capacity to innovate? Why aren’t we preparing our students for the world of work? Answer: Because we are dowsing their fire with buckets of wet tests to feed metrics that tell us nothing usable. We are patterning them to complacency.

Fire is dangerous to test makers. Educational fire is anathema when answer regurgitation is the goal.

The disjoint between what we know and what we do is vast. It is a farce. If you doubt what I’m asserting, think how ludicrous (sad) it is for a keynote speaker in the 21st century to address educators on the importance of creativity. The speech is only necessary in an arena that has stripped creativity from the system.

After the call with Megan I remembered my recent conversation with Robert. His son is just starting school and he was appalled by what his son’s teachers are being forced to do. He said, “There’s no room for creativity. I’m not talking about art or music – I’m talking about any form of creativity. It’s a wasteland.”

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