LAUNCH: #D100bloggerPD Book Study

I'm excited to be back participating in a #D100bloggerPD book study! We are a group of bloggers in Berwyn South District 100 that read and blog. It's a great community of learners and a fun way to jigsaw our way through some great education books!

This time, we are reading the book, LAUNCH, by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani. Thanks to Jenny Lehotsky for organizing this study! Jenny is an amazing instructional coach with a passion for design thinking and personalized learning. She is also a TED-Ed Innovative Educator (impressive!). You can check out the post about Chapter 1 on Jenny's blog, Teaching and Learning Redefined.

click on the "ThingLink" above to go to participating blogs & posts!

Now it's on to my assignment, which was Chapter 2. This chapter was titled, "Finding Your Creative Approach," and was all about recognizing and celebrating the fact that everyone is creative in their own way.

The chapter goes on to define six types of teacher. Each has it's own way that creativity plays out depending on the strengths of that type. In reality, you might find yourself identifying with more than one or many of the types depending on the situation. However, the authors say you probably aren't ALL of them, nor can you be all at once.

The artist is the type of teacher that likes to make things (lessons, activities, and classrooms) that students will love. Creating things from scratch and actually liking to "reinvent the wheel" are habits of this teacher. Also, this teacher would probably prefer stories of learning rather than data.

The geek likes systems, structures, research, and data. While this type of teacher likes to make something new, they also would like to use data to determine if it is effective. Sometimes this type is not usually thought of as creative, but as the authors say, "sometimes creativity worlds best within a framework informed by the data we collect on a regular basis." 

The architect does create things but "relies on the collaborative work of other creative types to design something." This teacher brings together the systems and art.

The Engineer is focused on fixing problems. This teacher focuses on how things work and is willing to ignore data and do things differently. Creativity might not be as obvious because this teacher is more practical but this teacher is always searching for a better solution.

The Hacker is the type of teacher that might find subtle ways to subvert the system. This teacher is willing to destruct current systems to find an alternative. This type might also find new ways to use the system and mix together things in a way that hasn't been tried before.

The point guard is able to "think differently in the moment and create opportunities as a result" This teacher can set up opportunities and experiences for students that are creative. Thinking on their feet is a trait of this type and the authors state that it looks effortless, but it isn't "You must be part activist and part chess master."


This chapter reminded me of those "personality quizzes" I used to take in Seventeen Magazine when I was in middle school! I wanted to know "what type" I am just as much as I wanted to know about the types. I found myself identifying with several types. I think I most strongly identify with Engineer and Hacker! I also am curious about how others perceive me and if they see my creativity differently than I do. 

But I think the most powerful part of this chapter was actually the argument that we need all of these types in schools. "When schools embrace all types of creative teachers, we are able to build the kinds of learning environments our students deserve." Also, knowing about the different types can help us appreciate what each other brings to the table in terms of creativity. "When we understand and appreciate the varied approaches to creativity, we are better able to embrace our differences and work in a way that is complementary rather than divisive."

Up next in the #D100bloggerPD book study is my friend, Lauren Slanker. Lauren is a passionate middle school science teacher. I was lucky enough to work with her as a teacher and team leader before moving into my current role. Be sure to check out the post on her blog!


  1. I associated with the geek the most, but also engineer. So, I guess I'm a geeky engineer! This really got me to think about creativity differently. I didn't think I was that creative and maybe that's why I associated with the two I did. However, I like to figure out how things work and solve problems even if it means finding work arounds. I guess I'm more creative than I thought!

    1. Yes, I love how this gets me to think about creativity in different ways. The quote "we are all creative" really spoke to me!

  2. I did use data when I was a classroom teacher, but I much prefer a good learning story! I guess that makes me an artist. Like you I wonder how others see me. Great review. I really like the way this book is laid out and the fact that it is so easy to read and put the ideas into practice.

    1. Yes! Sometimes I wish I was more motivated by data-- I'm more into the story as well. :)

    2. The learning stories remind me of an undergrad professor who had the best classes. She was always telling us motivating stories connected to the classroom. A lot of our textbooks were novels such as "Educating Esme."

  3. I see myself as the Artist - I love creating new and engaging lesson plans for students and almost always create new lessons every year! I definitely agree that you are an Engineer (of course) and a Hacker, ready to shake things up. Thanks for summarizing the chapter and for the shout-out at the end of your post :)

    1. Interesting that you see me as "The Hacker" as well. I would't have thought that before reading the book! I agree you are an artist and I also think I see a little "point guard" in you as well. :) Looking forward to reading your post on Chapter 3!

  4. As a future teacher, I think right now I most identify with the architect. I am a creative individual, and I definitely like to create my own lessons and materials. But right now in my career, I am still a bit reliant on those I collaborate with—professors, supervising teachers, peers, predetermined curricula programs—to help me in designing materials. These different creative types seem like something that can definitely change over time as teachers grow and develop, and I hope one day to be more of an Artist.

    I agree that the argument that we need all types of these creative teachers in a school is important not only because they create great learning environments, but also because I think we can all learn something from each other, which, again, fosters a better learning environment for the students!

  5. Great post! I'm a little behind with your blogging schedule but I'm catching up over winter break. I realized that I actually read chapters 1-4 in the summer but needed to reread. I connect most with the artist. In the classroom I was constantly making my own lessons or taking a preexisting one and changing it up. Even though I know I could just use what is out there, I would much rather make my own. I love the visuals you used in your post.

    1. Thanks Megan!
      I made the graphics for the post using the app "Word Swag" on my iPad. I also love making graphics using Canva and recently a friend showed me Adobe Spark which has some cool, free images. :)


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