Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Uncovering Creativity

I have a hard time quieting my mind. Although I've practiced yoga for a number of years now, I still struggle with meditation. Instead, I revel in the more physically challenging poses, the ones that push me to find the edges of my strength and flexibility. But ask me to lay still, to quiet my mind, and I'm enormously challenged. Savasana is one such pose that requires a stillness of mind and body. For me, it is by far the most difficult pose. It forces me to strip away the worries and wonderings, to shift into a mindful state of calm and focus.

It strikes me that as a school leader, I need to facilitate this same mindful state of calm and focus in my school community. Often, when we talk about innovation, we tend to focus on providing our staff and students with additional skills and tools. We invest in technologies and professional development that will add to our skills and abilities. But I would argue that innovation is as much about stripping away as it is adding to. If staff and students are already feeling burdened and overwhelmed by the numerous tasks and responsibilities that fill their days, how likely are they to achieve a mindset that will allow for creativity and innovation? 

I believe that this mindful state of calm and focus exists naturally within each one of us. And so, in addition to facilitating the acquisition of new skills and abilities, my role is also to help to strip away some of the burdens that sometimes stifle this natural state of creativity and innovation. With this in mind, I would argue that my challenge is two-fold: to be looking ahead towards continued growth and innovation, but also to be firmly rooted in the present to ensure that I am effectively managing the numerous tasks and responsibilities that are so essential to the functioning of a dynamic school community. My hope is that by working to alleviate some of the more burdensome tasks and responsibilities that might act as obstacles, I can help to uncover this natural state of creativity and innovation that already exists within each one of us.

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