Does being a CREATIVE teacher Mean being a MASOCHISTIC one?

Epstein Family Photos

Scene One:

Wednesday; my hardest day of the week. I teach from 8 till 3:30, 8 lessons in a row.

It’s the end of 7th period   I have just used the last page of an impressively covered large memo pad we got from someone in the field of high-tech (he got it at some conference, I believe). 8th period had mercifully been cancelled and I should have been out of that classroom like a bolt of lightning (it was a stormy day, by the way!). If you had passed my classroom you would have seen me standing at the teacher’s desk, turning the cover this way and that, puzzling over what new use it could be put to as it seems such a shame to throw such a thing away.

It took me about 10 minutes before I resolutely decided that I could think about it tomorrow and leave!

Scene Two:

I read a post entitled “Google form as Choose your own Adventure Tool” and off I went, my fingers itching to create one of my own. Luckily (for me) I had no time to try this out before thinking about it virtually.

Hmmm, seems like quite a bit of work, creating all these different options for a storyline.

Hmmm, if I give it for homework, then there won’t be much to check as they can just send me the ending to their story. GREAT! However, how do I know that a pupil didn’t randomly choose options and then sent me whatever ending came out? Surely I would have to add something extra to address this issue. Sigh…

Hmmm, it would be better if kids created the options on their own because in the process of creation they are learning more that when taking it. However, with my students it is so much easier for them to do things after they have experienced them rather than to explain things theoretically. Therefore I would still have to create one on my own if I wanted the students to understand what to do. Did I say that seems like a lot of work?

Did I say that I would still like to try it?

Scene Three

I used word clouds for a homework task. Some of the students don’t have Java on their computers and cannot see the cloud. So I’m emailing them the cloud as a Jpeg attachment…

Those are examples from just one week!

Perhaps I should ask Brad Patterson if there is any etymological connection between creativity and masochism!

6 thoughts on “Does being a CREATIVE teacher Mean being a MASOCHISTIC one?”

  1. Loved the post, Naomi.

    As mentioned on twitter, I just recently found out where the word masochist came from… funny because everyone knows where sadist comes from (marquis de sade), but I’d never heard the masochist story until leafing through the Etymologicon (highly recommend).

    Leopold von Sacher-MASOCH gave us the story “Venus in Furs” (1870) which seems to be a somewhat autobiographical tale of how a man signed a contract with a woman who was supposed to humiliate him. The term masochism and sadism (in addition to many others) were coined by Freud’s predecesor: Richard Von Krafft Ebing. All credits to Mark Forsyth and his dandy read “The Etymologicon”.

    Now, as far as your post and wonders go… I think all teachers that want to have fun, enjoyable, original classes with their teachers are willing to work hard, and maybe some of us do work too hard… alas, so with the love of the art of creativity, comes its high demands.

  2. Thanks so much for your detailed reply!
    I wonder sometimes if it is a love of creativity or a strong dislike of repetitive housework!!! LOL!

  3. oh, yes.
    How true.
    We’re doing an Online Lesson for our Grade 8 English class. A two-hour session has required 2 weeks of thought, 20 hours of building, re-building, re-assessing, re-building.

    Not to mention trial-run, adjustment, frustration, threats, and new-found courage.

    Luckily, there’s no humiliation yet (thank you Mr. Masoch) but the day’s young.

    happy Friday to all

  4. I hope it won’t get to the humiliation part, Judih!
    Non teachers ask how I don’t get bored doing the same thing year after year – who said we are doing the same things?!!!
    Hang in there and get some rest!

  5. Read some of Reik,s thoughts on madochism and you could easily form an hypothesis that teachers have an unconscious desire for punishment hence why they work such long hours without extra pay or is the pay the punishment

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