Sunday, October 12, 2014

Own It: Curiosity Mystery Solved

I need to preface what I'm about to write with an explanation, of sorts. I'm taking three online classes, right now, through Canvas Network: Laura Ingalls Wilder: Exploring Her Work and Writing Life; Teaching Online: Reflections on Practice; and Five Habits of Highly Creative Teachers. I'd never heard of Canvas Network until my bloggy friend Amanda, who knew I was reading the Little House series to the girls, mentioned the class on Wilder.

Canvas Network is a center for open online learning. The three classes I'm taking? Free. The Wilder class is out of Missouri State; the teaching-online class is out of Kirkwood Community College; and the creative-teacher class is from the Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services. Will I get credit? No, but I'll earn certificates of completion, and more importantly, I'll learn things. Canvas Network: check it out.

Anyway, the following will fulfill a requirement for Five Habits of Highly Creative Teachers.


Part 1: In your journal, reflect about yourself as an (.) person, a (!) person and a (?) person. In other words, the passive and indifferent you, the dogmatic and inflexible you and the inquisitive and curious you. 
  • Does one describe you more than the others?
  • Does it depend on context? If so, when are you most (.) (!) and (?)
I see myself as a (?) person. I'm rarely passive and indifferent about anything outside of other people's business. If I'm to be found dogmatic and inflexible, it's generally because I feel like someone is taking a heavy-handed approach in trying to change my way of thinking; I'm more than happy to dialogue with those who have different viewpoints, but I shut down when I feel bullied or patronized. 

I'm in a really good place, right now, in terms of following my curiosity, traveling outside of my comfort zone, and growing. My enrollment in this class, along with several other things, proves this.

Part 2:  Let's take it one step further. We're going to build a five by five strategy to implement curiosity in our lives.
  • Brainstorm for a few minutes about some times or things in which you would like to be more (?)
  • Select 5 of those that you would really like to follow up on.
  • For each of those 5 come up with a list of practical strategies that will enable you put them into action.
Brainstorming: earning, marketing, branding, WordPress, niche, SEO, publishing, histogram, fill flash, RAW, filters, Pixlr, Photoshop, Lightroom, piano, art projects for the girls, Charlotte Mason, Virginia history, weight loss, healthy eating, exercise 

I really don't want to narrow these down because I see them as falling into five distinct categories:
  • Marketing
  • Blogging/Writing
  • Photography
  • Homeschooling
  • Physical Well-being
The biggest challenge I face in exploring new ideas/things is in finding the time. I've come to realize that I can't neglect my physical health any longer: even if I have to let something(s) else go. I plan to start exercising daily, even if that just means taking a walk with the kids. My other strategies pertain to all the categories: spend less "wasted" time on the Internet and a set amount of time per day--even if just thirty minutes--learning something about one of the brainstormed topics, above.


  1. Making time for ourselves can be the most challenging, but ultimately so very important. Thanks for the introduction to Canvas Network. I am going to look into it for myself.

  2. oh gosh I LOVE this! I LOVE it, you will and sounds like already getting so much out of it!

  3. Very cool! There are LOTS of online classes out there, from places like MIT, UVA, and yes, community colleges and other smaller colleges. You're really smart to take advantage of them!

    Peace <3

  4. So I love the (.) (?) (!) exercise. I'm sitting here pondering those questions. Also, I am so behind for the Little House class. And yet here I am ... procrastinating again! (But procrastinating for the first time today, so that's something!)