A creative thinker is flexible, able to work with the materials/equipment/resources/people at hand and transform them into something new. Some of us like to call this a "MacGyver", a reference that might date me a bit, but you get the gist. The artist whose work is featured in the photo above is working with found materials - rocks - and a rugged shoreline. Despite these challenges, the sculptures stand proudly because the artist spent time analyzing the landscape and the materials, enabling them to work in harmony.
A creative thinker is intentional, taking the time required to envision the possibilities and determine a range of strategies to achieve them. In this case, perhaps the artist spent time looking at each rock, thinking about what it might be able to represent as a result of its shape and girth. Perhaps the artist envisioned an image and then sought out the rocks that would bring it to life. Both approaches require intentionality, reflection and revision.
A creative thinker is patient with herself/himself, knowing that the first attempt at a solution will likely not work, or be considered the best possible outcome. Setting out to take a risk, try something, knowing that multiple attempts will be required before a final product is achieved...this is growth mindset in action. In the case of these sculptures, the artist must also be patient with the materials and the environment, moving slowly in order to ensure that the rocks are placed with precision, in order to find balance.
A creative thinker has vision, seeing what's possible, rather than just what's there in the moment. In 1986, John Ceprano began his rock art installation at Remic Rapids. Imagine what he saw in his mind in the beginning, and where the journey has taken him, as this landscape unfolded.
I need to be flexible in my approach and interactions with others, working with people where they are, in their situations. Hmm...sounds like differentiated instruction.
I need to be intentional, walking into learning situations with a clear plan and desired outcomes. Hmm...sounds like learning goals and success criteria.
I need to be patient with myself, the process and the people. Hmm...sounds like growth mindset and assessment as learning/metacognition.
I need to have a clear vision of the amazing possibilities that can unfold in our learning spaces. Hmm...sounds like the inquiry process and Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind. (Thanks Stephen Covey!)
I need to have faith in myself and others. Together, we can change the story. All we need to do is look at a blank canvas together and really talk about what we see. And then...well, we just roll up our sleeves and make it happen.