Creativity and Hard Work: A simple message for the first day

by Mr. Sheehy

After reading Made to Stick last year I’m determined to communicate one simple message on the first day of school.

The message I hope to convey is how two important things overlap and become a key for academic success in my classroom: hard work and creativity (also called ingenuity). Success in my class, and I hope in much of life, comes where the two overlap.

Part of hard work means trying even when the purpose is not totally clear. To make my point I’ll turn to that classic scene from The Karate Kid:

I know students haven’t seen the movie and I’ll have to explain what leads up to that scene, but that’s easily accomplished. The point is that sometimes when you’re in the midst of learning, it doesn’t feel relevant. Yet if you don’t work hard even then, you won’t succeed.

For the creativity element I show a DVD version of Peter H. Reynold’s story, Ish. With creativity, you often have to forget about making things look the way everyone expects them to look before you can see something valuable. In my classroom, we value ish work, even if that means someone gives me something that is essay-ish.

Looking forward to the year. Thanks for reading.