I’m a runner. I run for my physical and mental health. I run to destress. I run to enjoy the outdoors. But I also run to think. Over the last several years, this thinking time has been crucial to me. My first book comes out this fall. Without this time, I never would have figured out how to organize my thinking and writing so that I could actually put a book together. In fact, as I got closer and closer to actually having a book contract, my runs got longer and longer. Why? Because, as I got closer, as the work became more serious, I hit more roadblocks and needed more time to think, to work through them.
I’m grateful for this outlet. I’m grateful that I know what I need to do when I get stuck. I’m grateful that I have a strategy that I can trust when my work stalls. My runs have been invaluable to me.
I wonder if the students in my building have an outlet when their work stalls. I wonder if they ever even talk about it in class. I wonder if they ever share what works for them when they do get stuck. I wonder if they are given the time they need to work through, or over, or around a roadblock. I wonder what great work isn’t being done because students don’t have a coping strategy.
I wish that every student could have opportunities to explore, discuss and share their creative process: the things that work best for them. How can we expect our students to do their best work if they don’t know the creative practices that work best for them? It’s one thing to know what to do when things are going well. But I believe the greatest work happens because the creators know how to cope when things aren’t going well.
Find your run.
And help your students find theirs.