Conan O’Brien’s thoughts on creativity sound like some great teaching advice:
Prepare like crazy so you can wing it. My formula has always been I’m big on preparing. Prepare like crazy. But then just as you’re heading out, half an hour beforehand, forget all of it. It’s there. It’s in your reptile brain. Go out but feel loose enough to grab opportunities as they come up. Don’t just stick to the plan if you see an opportunity. Now sometimes you go out there and the energy is such that you just stick to the plan and you do fine. But when you get out there and the energy is particularly good, I’m the first one to throw out things left and right and just go for it. From Fast Company
It takes a skilled teacher to know when to stick to the plan, when to follow the class’ energy, and how to balance the two. Some of my favorite units evolved out of kids’ surprising interests. And what seemed like my best plans sometimes just withered on the vine.