colorful painting, abstract with one big red arrow pointing up in the upper left corner

Painting created collaboratively by Minneapolis Public Schools educators and Upstream Arts, July 2016


Last week, Julie and I began facilitating a 5-month professional development course with nine Minneapolis Public Schools educators. This group will meet several days a month from now through November. We’ll be sharing Upstream Arts’ Artful Instruction Strategies…our methodology, and the best practices that we have developed around engaging students. What an honor it was to share space and ideas with these wonderful, passionate, and caring people. Julie and I will be learning much from this community as we progress on our journey.

As part of a journaling assignment, one of the educators, Myrna, was inspired by our discussions of creativity and spontaneity to pen a wonderful poem, and we wanted to share it here. Below – enjoy!

Matt Guidry
Co-Founder and Artistic Director
Upstream Arts


Make Wave In the room they come Wide-eyed, Anticipating, Anxious, Ready to Learn Bringing themselves as dynamic, active, participants Not sponges to be filled. Meet them where they are Find the connect. Celebrate them Let them know they are It! Go ahead, Roll out the Agenda. Provide Structure. Dot your T’s Cross the I’s. But leave room So they can create their ABC’s Sit here, over there, with them, with us Sit anywhere, everywhere, with anyone You trust. Move around, feel free Express yourself, Be at ease Listen, speak your truth, Laugh, Write Act it out. Sing, Play and have some Fun. Let your creativity and ingenuity flow, Be innovative. Actively engage in your learning Use the space, the resource Write on the window. Think on the wall. Pick your teacher’s brain. Engage your peers. Question, Investigate, Initiate, Inquire, Acquire. Take risks and believe in yourself. Here’s what I bring. It’s just an idea Break it. Rearrange it. Is it how you like it? No! Then, let’s improvise Does it make sense? Celebrate it! Share it. Use it Use it to enlighten To educate To tell the world Learning has taken place.