And the People Stayed Home–and were creative

Has the pandemic time allowed you the chance to be creative? For some folks, I know, the pressures of children at home, school at home, work at home, every minute at home have left no time for anything but survival. For others of us, at different stages of life, the time at home has left empty spaces in our lives that used to be filled with travel, seeing friends—even commuting. My work hasn’t changed much, since it was already pretty computer-based, but needing to spend all day every day at home (and without driving my husband nuts) has forced me to think about how I spend my time. There have been some creative moments, and they do me good. It wasn’t surprising to me to read that during the pandemic, one research study found that greater teacher creativity related to greater teacher well-being.*

It made me think of Kitty O’Meara and her viral poem, “And the People Stayed Home.” The poem started as a Facebook post shared online, and traveled the globe, morphing into music and eventually a book. You can read the original blog post here. It was written in the early days of the pandemic, with a lovely and optimistic view of how the post-pandemic world can evolve. I hope she’s right.

But in the meantime, this end of the school year—virtual, face-to-face, or somewhere in between–seems like a perfect time to invite young people to contribute their thoughts to the conversation, either adding new pages to the book or creating stories of their own. Recording thoughts of these pandemic days is important for students of all ages, and adults, too. How else will we describe them to those who come next?

Would you like to hear the poem read aloud? Here it is, from the website, Maggie Reads.

If you’d like to hear a bit from the author, you can find it here. Now, go use your creativity. You’ll feel better.

*Anderson, R. C., Bousselot, T., Katz-Buioncontro, J., & Todd, J. (2021). Generating buoyancy in a sea of uncertainty: Teachers creativity and well-being during the OCVID-19 pandemic. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, Article 614774.

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