I’ve created a unique niche in my classroom. At the outset, our goal was to help students use the great technology in the Fab Lab. That was an education all by itself – over time, it became clear that cool machines, through their presence, were not going to be enough to make the creative leap that I was hoping to make. Enter the long journey we are on now.
The lead to Innovative Arts being a different type of class. School might not be great for a hypothetical student everywhere else, but that doesn’t have to be how it is while in Innovative Arts. The class is all about growth and moving forward, either fast or slow. The expectation of being miserable in school sometimes leads a kid to be miserable while working on their own project. It begs the question – is why are you working on a project that you just said you don’t care about? You picked this project, we brainstormed so many options, what DO you care about? Let’s do something like that!
This is a common conversation in class. I love when someone realizes that they can access the things they love, build on them and personalize their own learning journey with that part of themselves. It is empowering!
I have also invested in showing students that I am pulling for them, on their team, and their biggest fan.
These two things – that I am on your team and want to bring your biggest interests into the classroom make it hard to rebel against the class. This year has been one of cooperation, and raised ambitions. I am grateful to have been able to work with you and assist in making the class a better place.
It’s safe to say we’ve come a long way since the first Innovative Arts class in 2018. My hope is to spark a new way to approach education and learning in our crazy new world.