Designer, Artist, Teacher

I had a conversation tonight with a friend of mine who isn’t a teacher in the official sense, but in fact does a lot of teaching.  We were talking about how much time it actually takes to be a teacher today in a typical school, and how much time beyond the official presentation time it class one must actually spend to be effective. I told him a little about how the launch of design thinking was going, and how things had gone at the wedding, and then I told him that one of my curious blockages these days is that I want to spend more time actually being a designer and an artist, and that being a teacher of art and design is actually a lot lower on my priority list.  Watching the kids designing the Halloween dance this past Wednesday, I realized how much I actually want to do that sort of thing, or at least be making art.

My friend told me I should absolutely set aside time in my schedule to practice being a designer myself.  “It’s not all about the kids,” he reminded me, (although to be fair he didn’t exactly say it this way). “You can’t do a great job of showing them what to do, if you’re not walking your own talk.”

So I’m choosing to set aside some time for me to be the artist and designer, myself.  What that looks like, or what I’ll do with that time exactly, I’m not sure.  But my web friend Bryan Jackson out in British Columbia reminded us not too long ago that teachers should be public learners, as well.  It’s time I put my art supplies in my hand, and made a point of learning to be a better artist in public.

So there you are, Bryan.  A commitment to be a public learner.  What that’s going to look like, I’m not sure yet, but look for art by me on this blog in the near future.

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  1. Glad to have you aboard – and looking forward to seeing your lens trained on creative pursuits alongside your educational ones. My most rewarding teaching experiences (and personal ones as well) seem to come when the two worlds are able to blend: nourishing my personal creativity and learning enables greater professional exploration in kind.

    I’ve been thinking about something @jimgroom said in a presentation somewhere recently, that you can’t nurture community and collaboration in your classroom without nurturing it in the development of your classroom. And I think the idea can apply to our role as learners in our classroom, as well: to enable autonomy and self-actualization in our students, we should explore the same ends in our own lives as students of life and learning.

    Looking forward to hearing about it, web friend,


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