September 22, 2017
Spotlight Interview with Kathryn Haydon
Guest Post by Jocelyn Tejeda
Ever wonder how creativity can reform education? If so, just ask Kathryn Haydon, co-author of Creativity for Everybody and Discovering and Developing Talents in Spanish-Speaking Students. A change agent by calling and educator at heart, Kathryn has always had a passion for harnessing creative giftedness in children. Like many of us, she accidentally stumbled upon this work. A banker by day and writer by night, Kathryn wrote dozens of articles and helped her mentor do research who runs the Center for Gifted in Chicago. Through this process she discovered a passion for Paul E. Torrence’s work and continues to be inspired by his commitment to challenge how we identify and value education, intelligence, and giftedness.
During her creative journey Kathryn opened up a creative space, Ignite Creative Learning Studio, where children and teens could explore and apply their creativity in diverse ways. She was hungry to learn more and realized she wanted to create a larger impact for educators, parents, and children so she pursued her Master of Science in Creative Studies at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State. Kathryn has transformed lives, schools, and children all across the United States. Although our education system in the U.S. is flawed and often one that is linear and stifles creativity, she has reframed how schools/parents value creativity. As Founder of Sparkitivity she trains educators and parents to use disorders and bad behaviors as indicators of highly creative strengths. She believes that creative ability is a child’s superpower and can change the world if it is cultivated. Instead of forcing a child (square peg) to conform to what has been normalized (a round hole) by society, she teaches parents, educators, and children how to dare to be different, discover who they are, and be their best selves working within their own capabilities. This removes all barriers related to misdiagnosis, language, socioeconomic class and even testing performance for measuring intelligence.
Now, on to some amazing things too look out for. On Sunday, October 15th Kathryn will be giving a 10 minute talk at the Creativity Expert Exchange Conference titled “Making school better with just one question” and from what she tell me it can be a game changer if we pay close attention and do what we do best, Be Creative! For all my Educators, Parents, Creatives, and “Once Upon a time seen as a Terrible Student” audience members, this talk is for you! If you’ve read any of her books or materials you will quickly learn that one of HER many superpowers is to dissect information in a way that’s novel, useful, and above all, simple and applicable. She truly has a gift for taking creativity and helping you infuse it into your daily life. The tools she will share is something we all learned as creative professionals and can have an amazing impact in our learning spaces. Without giving away too much, this is a simple strategy and can be applied to every level of education.
We all need a Kathryn Haydon in our school districts and classrooms (and in our lives) to lead the movement of recognizing and celebrating giftedness and giving every person a fighting chance. Thankfully, she has begun to work with adults and helping them recognize their own creative intelligence and gifts. She is working on a new book titled “If Schools Sucked for You, Own Your Creative Genius” which sounds witty, eye opening, and in some ways provides confirmation of how awesome you are. Read more about what she does and her amazing work as a speaker, mentor, and change agent here: https://sparkitivity.com.