Authentic Teaching and Creative Thinking with Betsy Potash

By |2020-11-12T06:33:56-07:00November 17th, 2020|

Sparkchasers Episode 11 | Show Notes

Authentic Teaching & Creative Thinking with Betsy Potash

On this episode of Sparkchasers, I’m thrilled to welcome veteran educator Betsy Potash. Betsy spent almost a decade teaching every level of High School English and now shares her creative thinking strategies for the classroom with others on her site, Spark Creativity. During our time together, Betsy’s love for reimagining the possibilities for the classroom was obvious, but it was her dedication to authentic teaching that made me lean in.  In this episode, Betsy shares how she was shamed by other teachers for embracing creative methods, as well as how she overcame those naysayers to build a creative community of over 16,000 other creative educators. Here’s some key lessons from our talk:

Be True to Yourself as an Educator

Betsy tried the traditional English teacher route for about 5 minutes, but it just didn’t feel right to her. Once she embraced the idea of using creative thinking and project based learning to engage her students, her teaching felt more natural and organic.

Know Your Intent

When other teachers in her building shared they heard her class was “easy”, Betsy didn’t let it phase her. She knew that her intent was to get students to love reading and writing, not to make it a difficult process. By knowing what her end goal was for students, she was able to craft curriculum that both built critical and creative thinking while meeting her curricular standards.

Creativity is Like Color

This might have been my favorite part of our chat. Betsy explained that to her, creativity is like color. Without it, you can still accomplish your tasks, you can still check things off your list. But it’s just not going to be as beautiful. When you have all the colors to work from, you can create something so stunning. This visual is so helpful when we’re looking for our own “why” for bringing creative approaches into our classrooms.

The One-Pager Strategy

For all of you out there looking for a simple way to bring creative thinking into your own content, Betsy recommends the One-Pager strategy. She has a variety of templates you can download for free on her site. These one-pagers provide students with a way to predict, connect, and synthesize their learning on a single page. We also talked about how these one-pagers could be used in combination with Artful Thinking strategies to make thinking more visible.

Resources from this Episode

Here’s a list of resources we shared during our conversation:

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