We started the morning getting our hair done…. If you’ve ever paid attention, I know the styles of “ponytail” or “combed”. Yes, yes, I AM a fashionista! So I sat down in the chair for the girl who was about to create my style for the big day and the first thing she said was, “do you have a picture of what you want?” I told her I found a few that caught my eye on Pinterest, showed her the photos and then proceeded to tell her that rather than replicating a photo, I knew what I’d preferred in the final hairstyle, but was relying on her creative genius to make that happen. She smiled as she listened to my silly “list” (a half up-do or a low-do…yeah, I guess that’s a thing… and I needed it to visually connect the updo to my shoulders since it was an off-the-shoulder dress, and nothing too puffy, blah blah blah) and said “Okay” as she proceeded to stare blankly at my hair and grab a curler just so she could start somewhere. After 10 minutes of curling, she did some trial and error pinning here & there and would hold pieces of hair up in places to see what it would look like, then she’d get frustrated and look at me like, “please, lady! Just choose a picture for me replicate!” She disapearred for 2-3min, and I then saw her on her smartphone. “Would you just like me to choose one?” I asked hoping to be out of that chair soon. Then I heard a video playing on her phone and she told me that she found a “messy low-do” that she thought she could make work. YES…that’s where I got slightly nervous and wish I would have just told her what to do, BUT…she was the expert here, not me. 25 minutes later, I walked away with a hairstyle that I gave a rating of “meh”! (Front was okay, back was TERRIBLE, but after all…I let her try something out and that’s what I got.)
Molly asked me how I liked it and all I said to her was, “Well, I thought that a professional would be excited to have the opportunity to let their creative juices fly, but I’m pretty sure I freaked her out!” And it was at that moment that I thought of each and every one of you. The learning and prep for next school year that you will do will certainly allow you to let your professional creativity shine. That said, I now have a new perspective for how scary that can be too. So I’m going to encourage you to do as my hair dresser did….. Use resources around you to get inspired!
- Why fall victim to replicating other projects from a project library or from something you did last year? Instead, ask yourself “what am I trying to get out of this project design that will make it great for my students?”
- While you’re out and about this summer, pay attention to what learning opportunities might lie in the activities you’re already doing. (An Example: Gardening = science of growth & nutrients, geography & vegetation in particular areas, math & surface area.)
- Don’t hesitate to google “real world connections and (insert your content area here) “ or “ What are (insert a field of study by your content area here)’s researching?” to get inspired for a stellar project idea…or at minimum, maybe you’ll find a messy low-do and think of me. :)
- Use community and real world connections referenced in a text book or a Webquest or by friends & family to just begin playing around with ideas…no harm no foul in trying something out!
Bottom line… you’re an educator. Use your craft. Take this opportunity for summer R&R to also refresh your creative juices and get excited to be ABLE to design authentic projects for your students. Don’t stare blankly at your curriculum map for the upcoming school year waiting for someone to “show you a picture of what you can replicate” from the first curl to the final bobby pin.
Peace, love, and hairspray…lots and lots of hairspray…