I have been in education for 23 years as a teacher of creative dance and movement with a wide socio-economic range of children in Los Angeles.  I have had the good fortune to see the mind awaken, confidence grow and enthusiasm abound when children are taught in a creative environment that respects their ideas and feelings without judgment.

The three most important skills students need for tomorrow are 

Empathy, Intuition and Creativity

In my Professional Development workshops for teachers I train creative teaching  and learning.  Creativity skills (like being open and flexible, making mistakes, building on others ideas, considering many alternatives, reflecting and applying new learnings etc.) and creative thinking (asking what might be, gathering information, sensing what's missing, etc) are taught side by side with content from any chosen curriculum subject. When teachers learn how to teach using these skills and they acknowledge their own creativity, their classrooms are transformed into bustling learning opportunities sparked by energetic curiosity to share and know more.

The workshops are adaptable to range from 1 hour to semester long mentorships.

Become a great teacher

In the Professional Development workshops teachers learn:

  • how to create lessons using the TIM model
  • how to use the SAVI (somatic, auditory, visual, intellectual) approach to learning
  • how to build a truly creative classroom climate conducive to learning
  • how to use mindfulness with the students
  • how to engage the imaginiation
  • how to teach children to make decisions and solve problems with CPS 
  • the skills necessary for creative thinking
  • how to allow the intrinsic motivation of the students to be a guide
  • how to apply Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences
  • Social-emotional learning and conflict resolution

Imagine a cup overflowing with creativity.  

Now, imagine that in a whole school

Imagine a creative environment where you see:

engaged students who are not afraid to fail

enthusiastic students who love to learn, share and contribute

playful students who can be thoughtful and spontaneous

empowered students who think "I can"

eager students who can't wait to come to school everyday

empathic students who can use emotions as tools for understanding

curious students who ask "what if" or "what could this be," type questions that take them down previously untravelled roads


Current Trends in Creative Teaching and Learning

Sample Schools that support creativity in the classroom:

Bullis Charter School, Los Gatos, California. The  Core Academic Values say a lot about this school which serves K-12th graders: Critical Thinking, Collaboration, 
Communication, Resourcefulness and Creativity. Reading a sample blog written by a teacher expresses the aliveness and eagerness in the children and students: Should Classes Be Fun? by Michael Chellman, Middle School, October 2016.

Peninsula School, Menlo Park, California. The developmental model of child learning  is highly respected with "Peninsula's progressive ideals of play, choice and responsibility, engaging in intellectual inquiry, and building relationships inhabit(s) every nook and cranny of the days on {their} inspiring campus."

Kibera School for Girls (KSG), (Shining Hope for Communities) Naroibi. This  free school  for girls began in 2009 in the slums of Nairobi. The school serves pre-K through 6th grade.  Holistic in it's approach, the school provides free health services, water, nutrition, school supplies and psychosocial support.  Beyond that it is the attitude toward learning and teaching that is intriguing: "student-centered, experience-based environment that fosters love of learning, creativity, and critical thinking skills-skills that tend to be underdeveloped in the lecture-centers, rote memorization and test based approach typical of the Kenyan educational system."  

Haig Girls School, Singapore. Singapore is rated among the top ten  best schools in the world.  The "Singapore Education Landscape" emphasizes an education system that:

  • Is more flexible and diverse
  • Provides students greater choice to meet the varied interests and ways of learning
  • Allows students to follow their passions
  • Nurtures young Singaporeans  to ask questions, think in new ways and to solve new problems
  • Encourages discipline and builds strong character so they will have the fortitude to work hard to bring their dreams to fruition. 

While students in both Korea and Singapore are stressed about performance, there is a trend toward a more balanced system revealed in their  prototype for assessing creativity based on inquisitiveness, persistence, collaboration, discipline and imagination. 

Last but not least, this is where I work...

Inner-city arts, Los Angeles, CA. Inner-city arts hosts over 8,000 inner-city children a year, K-12th, in studios enclosed within a gardenesque environment.  The belief is that as students work in the creative process tapping into their imagination, collaborating and make many mistakes, transformation is occurring.  Art and creativity are seen as transformational.  All this occurs in a fun-loving environment with expert teaching artists in the various fields of music, dance, drama, ceramics, animation, visual art and a creativity lab.

Websites which continually feed the curious mind
DIY Genius
Brain Pickings

The following people have influenced my teaching.  I share  their ideas and expertise in my Professional Development workshops.

anna craft   Possibility thinking

e.p. torrance   Torrance Incubation Model

ron beghetto & james kaufman  Pro 'C,' Big 'C', little 'c,' mini'c,'

sir ken robinson    Creativity and Learning

teresa amabile        The Progress Principle 

howard gardner    Multiple Intelligences

gerard puccio     Creative Problem Solving

calvin taylor     Multiple-Talent Model, Creative Thinking Skills Model

sue keller-mathers