Deirdre Moore | June 2017
A Summer of Creative Experiences
Four years ago I had an idea for a summer of creative experiences. I called it my Educator Recovery Program (ERP) for those who needed to recharge after a tough school year or an Arts Immersion Program (AIP) for those who just wanted to find ways to be inspired and find new ideas for arts integration in their classrooms.
This idea grew from my work with Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. In her book, Cameron talks about the need for “filling the well.” Cameron’s focus in this book is to help release your creativity. If you endeavor to do creative work, and no matter what you teach you are doing creative work, Cameron’s basic premise is that you can’t create if your well is dry of creative juices. If you love structure and exercises like I do this book leads you through 12 weeks of self-care, daily journaling Cameron calls “morning pages”, artist’s dates (serious “me” time with an artistic edge) and looking at/working through things in your life that might be blocking your creative energy. There is also a video series to lead you through the process.
But if all that sounds way too involved for you or is just not your cup of tea, then perhaps just making a commitment to yourself to give yourself creative experiences and fill your well is enough to help you feel ready to tackle another school year by the time it comes around. As the saying goes, you can’t get something from nothing. You cannot expect yourself to continue to generate creative thinking if you do not give yourself time to connect to your creative self and give yourself creative experiences. I made that commitment to myself four years ago and I was so glad that I did. For some reason I did not repeat it the following year but I think it was a good idea whose time has come around again. It’s time I recommit to filling my well.
My plan four years ago was that each week for 10 weeks I would check something off my Arts Integration checklist which looked like this:
These are just a few ideas to help get you started. Other opportunities might present themselves if you are open to them and keeping your eye out for them. My hope is that the list is a jumping off point for us both to dive deep into the waters of creativity and come up simply dripping in creative energy!