Whenever I see a quotation with the word creativity in it’s construction, it is like a magnet to me. I am “a creative.” Period. I use my creative gifts to make things—that help other people solve problems, help people learn and grow, and generally figure things out. I work with teachers, kids, businesses, and entrepreneurs—and I love it. As a creative stuff-maker, this quotation resonates with me in a very deep way.
When I look at the image we paired with this powerful quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as we pause on Monday to honor his memory and work, I am immediately transported back to Columbus Day, 2015. The weather in Washington, DC, was breathtakingly perfect that day. I know this because I was there on a tour of the best and finest DC had to offer in terms of museums and monuments, an M&M Tour that burned calories instead of adding them.
Just before midday when the sun was high in the vibrant blue sky, my little group walked along a pale granite wall—the Inscription Wall. We had arrived at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial. While I’d visited other memorials at various times, this was my first exposure to this particular memorial.
The granite stretched on. At perfectly orchestrated increments, exquisitely carved, perfectly proportioned capital letters formed excerpts from Dr. King’s many speeches. Some I knew; others new. All were thought provoking and powerful in their clarity and simplicity.
How often have we been taught that it is harder to express thought with fewer words than many? Every excerpt was a stunning example of Dr. King’s effective distillation of complexity that goes beyond any words.
Then I saw it—the towering memorial edifice itself, the Stone of Hope. Truly larger than life was the white stone sculpture in the image of Dr. King himself. With his armed folded and expression thoughtful, the impact was indescribable. This strategically placed work in massive stone, over 28 feet tall, was magnetic. The enormity of the issues, the struggles and the pain of so many, and the certainty of Dr. King’s convictions were perfectly distilled in this single sculpture of a single man. Justice, democracy, hope, and love, key messages of Dr. King’s, were each underscored for me everywhere I turned. I was riveted.
Since that day, I read every Dr. King quotation I find. When I later discovered the quotation by Dr. King that opens this blog post, I saved it immediately. I often think that we are trained from our earliest report cards to “use time and materials wisely.” This is, of course true—AND so is the creative use of time, even f it was not a report-card-worthy trait when I was getting my manila report cards. Yes, we all must use time creatively. By applying some creative problem solving to time crunches and tough time choices, we truly can get more of the right work done.
Creative Choice Combinations
As we move through this first month of January, time still feels like an easy companion, not yet fighting us with the urgency to choose. It still seems there’ll be plenty of time to do it all because the year is so new. We’re not yet behind and are perhaps still sticking to our resolutions (though that’s a different post for me in terms of my diet!).
As Dr. King articulated, in order to achieve all that we decide we must, we must creatively use our time. While there is a limit to the time we have, creatively using the time we do have expands our ability to choose wisely. Creativity of choice can serve to offset the urgency that “urges” us to try to do it all. Maybe the carpool line can be a perfectly quiet place to consider an issue on your to-think-about-it list. Perhaps those bleachers at the ice rink might provide a few moments to think through the best approach to sending a note home about a particular student. By thinking about certain challenges and to-do items in different environments, you might even make a more creative connection. As you watch that young goalie deflect the puck, does it spark you to recognize that the student you want to help is a master deflector in other ways, ways that you can now suddenly unlock? Had you not opted for creativity in choices, you may not make such a connection.
More Quotations About Time
As you move through the second half of January, you’ll undoubtedly need to make your own choices about how to wisely, creatively, and efficiently use your teaching time. In honor of Black History Month, we’re including a worksheet of this quotation by Dr. King.
We’ve also included two more worksheets with a “timely” quotation from Maya Angelou and Nelson Mandela, respectively, so you can “ch-use” with your kids in mind. These quotes and worksheets are great at home and at school. Try them as dinner table placemats, refrigerator reminders, and classroom curiosity sparks. Pop one up on the door as your brood heads out for the day. Those few little seconds that the ready ones stand there waiting for the stragglers could be just long enough for them to catch a glimmer of the power of creativity.
We look forward to hearing how you opt to use these PeachQuotes Studio™ Worksheets in your classroom and family room. We so hope you’ll take a sliver of time to share your creatively chosen teachable moments. We know you have them!
Check out the creative product mix of Teacher Peach products on Amazon, too. (Most are Prime eligible!) Just search Teacher Peach Products on Amazon or check out our favorite teacher tote, and get creative time-saving tools and classroom products Visit teacherpeach.com to learn more about what makes us tick!