In grade 3, I wanted to be in the GTC - the Gifted, Talented, and Creative group at school. My classmates and I were informed that they would be accepting new students, and I badly wanted to be chosen. When I was not chosen, I remember being surprised, shocked even, then, sad, terribly sad. I didn't tell a soul, not even my parents. I simply internalized in that moment something that would haunt me for years, namely the certainty that I was not smart, let alone creative, and far less worthy than my peers. From 8 until my early 20s the impact of this delusion was profound. I became defensive when questioned. The slightest note of criticism was taken to heart. I felt that I had to prove myself - relentlessly. No words of praise landed. I kept busy, always on the go, refusing to admit, even to myself, the depth of my self-abnegation. Everything I did was interpreted through the lens of what I wasn't - namely gifted, talented, and creative.
In advance of facilitating a Creatively engaging all learners session for the Teachers of Inclusive Education BC conference next week, I wanted to share this story. Being creative is not something someone else says you are. It is within each of us.