Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Creative Chaos

It is interesting to me that as I work with other teacher librarians, I find myself encouraging them to embrace chaos. I recognize that fear and uncertainty I see in their eyes when I say that. For all librarians order has always been the name of the game, but the game is changing.

Libraries are undergoing an evolution. Makerspaces, flexible learning spaces, authentic learning and so much more has changed the nature of that once quiet, organized space. In order to be the hub of our schools, we have to be on the cutting edge of student learning. In order to do this, many of us have to step out of our comfort zones.

In the first years of my career, I kept that orderly space. However, in later years, I began to let go of the control in some areas. This was the natural by-product of a collaborative project with a teacher. Throughout the project I expended a great deal of energy trying to control the creative chaos that emerged from students that were truly engaged with their learning. In reflecting on the process, I quickly established that there were better ways to expend my energy. Students were engaged, and they were on-task. What was I stressing about? I was the one with the issue, and I needed to let go.

For the next large scale project, I structured things a little differently in order to make the space more functional, but I stopped stressing about the chaos. The chaos was learning and wasn't that the most important thing? That is not to say that those nagging issues didn't pop into my head sometimes, but I got better about pushing them to the deep recesses of my brain.

Begin retraining yourself to embrace the creative chaos around you. You will be amazed at what emerges from the disorder. It has the ability to not only change you but the culture of your school as well.

1 comment:

  1. Important point, especially in regards to collaboration and maker space. I try to settle for organized chaos most days.