It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and I’m feeling grateful. My husband has given me a rare hour to myself, and I spent most of it editing photos. Taking pictures is my main creative outlet (other than lesson planning) and I haven’t done it in a while. I took some family photos yesterday and I’m really happy with how they turned out. We have an old computer so I’ve been less inclined to take photos with my DSLR as uploading and editing is challenging, but I got out my camera and photographed anyway. 

What I realized is that I was letting my fear get the best of me. Yes, it would be more work to have to fight with our computer to edit the way I want to, but the product is of a better quality, and more importantly, I feel intrinsically satisfied. I did run into a problem as my SD card got corrupted but I was able to overcome that and recover the images I had lost.

The experience yesterday has me thinking. I’ve been contemplating how much I haven’t takenphotos with my camera and how I’ve relied on my iPhone to take the photos of my family that I want to cherish. My camera takes far superior pictures and I know that, but I was afraid that my computer would mess things up. This makes me think of the classroom as we have so many students who are paralyzed by fear when it comes to being creative or trying something new. They are afraid of make mistakes. I actually feel like I’m a bit of a hypocrite because I’ve been avoiding my camera because I didn’t want to make a mistake or have to work too hard for something I love. Many students, on the other hand, are doing things in our classroom that they don’t really love and so how can we expect them to be motivated and willing to take risks when they’re afraid to fail? 
It also makes me think about that for many kids school is a irrelevant. How many students have hidden passions like this that we as teachers have no idea about? I love taking pictures and I have since I was a high school student myself, but very few people actually know that about me. It makes me wonder how could I have capitalized on that in my younger educational experiences. So one of my goals moving forward with this next part of the semester is to try and find these hidden talents my students possess. I want them to be able to bring those into the classroom in order to share that love and creativity with their peers AND have it be valued. Some of my students are amazing artists and yet they don’t feel like it’s a valuable skill, but what they don’t realize is that they’ve already discovered something that brings them joy. They’re so lucky that they know that already as many adults struggle with finding activities that bring them satisfaction. I also want students to see how valuable the skills are as these creative passion-based attributes are what makes us human.

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