Taking time to THINK

          I have had to be creative and innovative in many ways throughout my first week and a half at my placement, beginning on day 1. Without a computer or much direction at all I was forced to think. A lot. All of us think quite a bit on a daily basis, this is obvious, but this was a different type of thinking. I had a few textbooks, my VAD, and a small amount of information about this project’s past (which is little to none). So there I was, at RCSD central office, thinking. My advice: If, throughout the next few weeks, months, or anytime during the next year and beyond, you have the time and energy-turn off your computer and think. It leads to a different type of brainstorming. One that is thorough and with greater intention than every day thinking, and is full of different notes and ideas. This allowed me to brainstorm many large ideas that I probably would not have thought of if I had had a computer in front of me to type in the first ideas that came to my mind.  Although this became pretty painful by the end of day 3 (or to be honest, the end of day 1), it quickly taught me a lot about beginning a project and even continuing the types of projects we are working on with our organizations. During this time of no computer and really not much of a connection with anything or anyone, I was able to be very creative. Thinking and brainstorming and writing ideas and crossing out many of those ideas and creating lists, etc… And now I am anxious to be innovative. I am awaiting the time to do new things. This will most likely begin in September, when the school year starts and teachers and students are actually at the schools I will be working with. So until then, I will continue to be creative and hope that the innovation comes easily from all of this thinking 🙂

            And now a completely separate thought (but like I said, I have had A LOT of time to think). For those of you with a background or interest in education, and even those of you without, this may interest you.

             So, the way school districts work, or at least what I know about how they work, is that after you graduate with a degree you become a teacher. Some teachers work hard for many years, work their way up, get many years of experience in schools and with students, and then some take positions at central office, or the board of education. These people have a lot of power and are in charge of curriculum, teachers, money, etc… and they pass information, tools, ideas, and rules down to principals who pass them down to teachers. They are often times passing down to new creative and innovative teachers who just graduated with their degrees and are extremely passionate for teaching and are wonderful with the students (just like these past teachers used to be). My thought is that it would make more sense if this was the opposite. Teachers graduate with their degree and begin working for the board of education or central office. They are then in charge of curriculum, teachers, money, and pass on information, tools, ideas, rules, etc… Then their creative and innovative ideas can be passed down to other teachers who may or may not have these fresh ideas. And after you get to pass on information, tools, ideas and rules, you are even more passionate about teaching and being able to put all of this in place that when you work your way down, but if this was the case it would actually be up, so when you work your way up, the schools are wonderful (because you were in charge) and now you get to continue establishing and strengthening these amazing schools because you are now the teacher and you teach the wonderful curriculum that you established to your students!

            Now I obviously know that there would be several glitches with this model. One of which is that young recent graduates would be in charge of those who have been in the field for longer, which would evidently cause problems. I also do not think that all past teachers who now work in a higher position fall into this rut, but from what I have seen so far it does happen…and I also know that this wouldn’t actually happen. Which is why the glitches don’t matter and why I would not argue someone opposing this, I just wanted to share a thought J

           So back to thinking, if you haven’t had time to do it yet, I would highly recommend it. Although it may momentarily take away attention from your to-do-lists, it may also allow you to cross out some unnecessary items and expand on others!

          I hope that my next blog will be shorter due to less “thinking time” and more time for other creativity and innovation.

Erin Murphy

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