“The primary benefit of practicing any art , whether well or badly, is that it enables one’s soul to grow.” Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
While teaching is rewarding and fun, it’s also challenging and strenuous. I need to have activities outside my workday to recharge. I need time to percolate new ideas for my classroom and students. So I participate in amateur triathlons. I started when I turned 50 years old, I suppose as a way to physically challenge myself. Six years later, I’m still swimming, biking and running in four races each year. I find the race morning excitement is invigorating. The sense of community, camaraderie and even the competitiveness is stimulating. My mind seems to clear when I’m training. I get inspired by nature and the world around me. Ideas begin to gel; problems start to solve; things click into place. There’s joy in these uplifting moments and the physical push gives me a burst of energy, which I can take into my classroom. The energy fuels creativity.
What activities to you do to recharge yourself? If you have a passion for gardening, start a container garden. If you like to doodle and draw; get a notebook, some gel pens and go for it. Love books? Spend an hour in a used book store. Wherever your interests lie, use them to give yourself an energy boost. Your ability to teach creatively will benefit from it.
(Access to these photographs does not constitute a transfer of copyright or a license for commercial use. The images are for personal use only. No portion of the images can be used without the expressed written permission of Michael B. Stanley, Jr.)