Monday, July 7, 2014

Teacher Creativity Skill: Express Yourself

Express Yourself

What is the point of creativity if it's not to express ourselves? Each of us has a unique perspective on the world, and it's our creativity that allows us to share that perspective with others. As we develop creatively, we find more success accurately communicating how we experience the world to others.

Not only do we see the world from a unique perspective, we also are gifted in unique ways and have unique interests that drive how we choose to express ourselves. Some of us prefer to express ourselves through music, others through language, and still others through images, video, or other media.

Saying what we have to say in the way that we want to say it so that we can make an impact on others' lives is really what creative expression is all about, and when we are working in this way, it's almost a given that we will find our work engaging, even when we find ourselves getting frustrated over our inability to use our creative talents to accurately give voice to our ideas.

Creativity is a learned set of skills that come with practice, and we all have the opportunity in our lives to hone our abilities to harness creativity for the purpose of self-expression. Luckily, today, we have more opportunities than ever to not only find the tools that fit our particular styles of self-expression, but to also use that creativity to reach an even wider audience.

We are living in a world built for expression.

Thanks to the Internet and digital media, we have hundreds of free tools to enable creative expression. If we prefer to write music, there are tools for that. If we want to create and edit videos, there are plenty of tools for that. If we prefer to draw, there are great digital art tools to help us realize our vision.

Beyond that, the social nature of the Internet has given rise to whole communities dedicated to particular forms of self-expression. The popularity of YouTube, Flickr, and blogging services like Blogger and Wordpress speaks to how willingly people will share their creativity with the world. Websites like Pinterest invite people to explore ideas and find new pathways to creative expression. Other websites like Etsy actually give people a platform for turning their creativity into a livelyhood.

Our ability to self-publish means that we can reach an audience that was not possible even a few years ago. And when our creative expressions strike a chord with other, it is now possible for our efforts to go viral, reaching an audience beyond even our own imaginations, thanks to social media.

We can even use digital shorthand to leave windows into our creative life with QR codes and Augmented Reality tools like Aurasma.

Our Challenge

Given all the tools we have at our disposal to create and share our creativity with others, we should all feel empowered to build the skills that we need to express ourselves to the world. As educators, we should not take this abundance of opportunity for granted.  Just because we have the tools in our toolbox, does not mean that we are visiting the workshop as often as we should. We need to take every opportunity to develop our creative voices so that we feel comfortable encouraging our students to do the same.


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