Dixie Darr

In creativity, work on January 18, 2007 at 9:46 am

Fun With Work and Learning

“By being flexible, open, creative, and downright audacious, you may find that life has more to offer than you ever dreamed.” Susan Sully The Late Bloomer’s Guide to Success at Any Age

I just finished teaching my best class in a long time. This was the first time I had taught cultural diversity and I was dreading it for two reasons:

1. It is always a lot of work to prepare for and teach a new class, and this one straddled the Christmas season which added more stress.

2. I had talked to another teacher, whom I greatly admire, about the class and she warned me that it wasn’t a very good one.

I admit that it wasn’t much fun at first, but I had a remarkable group of students who pushed me to be creative. I dreamed up some classroom activities that everybody enjoyed and changed their final project from the typical paper and presentation into a game they would design and demonstrate to the class. We even had a potluck in the last class where everybody brought food from their culture. They brought tamales, homemade pizza, lefsa, and a wonderful Chinese stuffed chicken dish. For dessert we had a Black Forest torte, homemade macadamia nut ice cream (from a Hawaiian woman), chocolate chip cookies and a Puerto Rican ice treat.

The games they designed were patterned after Family Feud, Jeopardy, 1 vs. 100 and Go Fish. They were all fun learning experiences and provided me with great resources for the next time I teach this class.

I learned as much from my students as they did from me, and that’s what makes teaching a fun job. We all contributed something. The students pushed me by telling me when they thought something was boring, and I was flexible enough to change directions mid-stream. A good time was had by all.

When you do anything for as long as I have been teaching (20+ years) things can get stale and you need to shake it up a little. This class reminded me that my work is a creative outlet, not just a way to pay the bills. We should all be so lucky.

©2007 Dixie Darr. All rights reserved

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