Discovering how the Personal Creed Project has evolved
Room 311 fades to silence. The senior takes a breath in and out as he slowly walks up to the computer to prepare for his Creed Presentation. In the time after the Creed Experience, he has a newfound confidence in talking about himself, something the sophomores will soon have. The values he’s had in the past changed to reflect the person he is presently.
For a long time, the Personal Creed Project has been done on paper, but now, the project’s words have been ripped off the pages and shattered into pixels on a screen. A website for the Personal Creed has surfaced: one version is for those new to the Personal Creed Project and its experience, and another version is for students who want to experience the Personal Creed Project all over again.
“But it’s slow growing. It’s not setting the world on fire at this point. It’s also grown in former students who went through it,” Mr. Creger said. “I hear at least from three or four every year who’d e-mail me out of the blue and tell me that the project really helped or that they want to revisit it, and that’s one reason that we started the online version of the project. It’s growing in that students are continuing to benefit from it, so in that way, it’s growing.”
This growth spread to some of the English teachers in American High School as well. These teachers have adapted the Personal Creed Project to use in their classes. One of these teachers, Ms. Redd, wants to implement the Creed Project into her curriculum.
“I think I want to use it as a personal part of the whole curriculum,” Ms. Redd said. “The curriculum deals with the academic stuff that all students have to get through, but then it’s a complement of personal and developmental stories.”
Those who have done the Personal Creed Project have discovered their influences and values through the experience. For them, putting the Personal Creed online exposes new students to their self-reflection and self-discovery.
“I think it’s really important for the Creed to grow,” Guneet Cheema (11) said. “Especially for high school students to be able to learn about the Creed and learn about themselves.”
The Creed Project also helps students discover things about their fellow classmates, their values, their influences, and their life experiences. This new knowledge introduces students to what their fellow classmates want to bring to the classroom.
“Once I learned about people on a deeper level, I really became more curious about questions like, ‘Can you tell me about your life experiences, and what unique experiences you bring?’ So I think that actually because of those presentations, curiosity would be a value I’m trying to uphold,” Shivam Patel (12) said.
If students would have done the project again, their values never changed. Patel added a value instead of changing one.
“I’d say, for the most part, they’ve stayed the same. Friendship is definitely something I really value. Being adventurous, that’s something I value, and compassion. But I may add a value rather than change one, and I think that would be curiosity. Both being curious about academic subjects and just the world around us, but also being curious about people.” Shivam Patel (12) said.
Mr. Creger, the Personal Creed’s creator, hopes to share the Personal Creed with more teachers and more students. Elementary, middle, high schools and even a few colleges have implemented the Creed Project. Now that the Creed is online, the Personal Creed Project can expand out even more across new people and new schools.
“I benefit because every year, I get to update my Creed and I’m the first one to present. That makes it possible for me to stay in touch with my own sense of why I’m here, what I want out of life and how I want to give to others … That benefits me a lot,” Mr. Creger said.
His vision for the future is evident.
“I also want to spread the project online. I would like to get more students involved in helping to do some of these things, like monitor the Online Creed version. There was talk of a suicide prevention page on the site; maybe we could get that up and running someday. The main thing I want to do is share it with more teachers so they can share it with more students, that’s number one.”
Caption: Mr. Creger brought the Personal Creed Project to life during the beginning of his teaching career. His second year of teaching was when the first draft started off. “I didn’t really know why, I just knew that it was a good thing and I really needed to do it. It was intuitive,” Mr. Creger said. “But in recent years I’m realizing that a lot of it might have to do with my own high school experience and my high school experience wasn’t satisfying at all. I felt, I would say, less than clueless when I left high school, and I guess part of me didn’t want that to happen to my students.”