Cassie Erkens is our guest blogger. Cassie is a presenter, facilitator, coach, trainer of trainers, keynote speaker, author, and above all, a teacher. She addresses the treasure that is imagination. Follow her @cerkens
Imagination is a treasure available to each and every one of us. It is a gift that separates us from any other creature on earth. With imagination, we can make the mundane interesting and the already-remarkable even more stunning. With imagination we can write stories, paint pictures or murals, play, tease, solve problems, and invent tools and resources to make life better. Our options are limitless.
JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, says that imagination is so much more than a tool for creating. Because of imagination, humans can see or read the works of others and experience empathy or learn vicariously. This allows us to avoid creating the mistakes that others have made or to adopt solutions that others have identified so we too can be successful.
Sometimes, both teachers and students might be heard to say, ‘that’s not me – I am not creative enough; I’m not imaginative.’ I would disagree. We all have this simple treasure, and in our own way we have the capacity to captivate and inspire. Our challenge is to reconnect to the passion, thrill, and opportunity of imagination through learning in our classrooms. It is possible in a standards based, results-driven world, but it requires imagination on our part. Today, the common core standards call for more creativity. Before we can exact it from our students, we must explore and employ it in our very teaching. May we find exciting new solutions for teaching with imagination and may we demonstrate empathy along the way.