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Mindcamp Choice Session Description

The Accidental Educator
Creating creative classrooms – virtual, at home, or in the schoolhouse
(Ismet Mamnoon, Cyndi Burnett)
Mind U session

In 2020 the world as we know it changed dramatically. Many of us found ourselves migrating without any preparation into a virtual world without even being given the time to grieve the loss of what was familiar. Parents found themselves thrust into the role of full-time caregivers and in many cases, they also became de facto educators.

As we navigate an uncertain future, we recognize the importance of creativity and adaptability more so now than ever before. In this Mindcamp U series, we shall introduce a framework that has been developed to help vocational and accidental educators - introduce creativity into their “classrooms” no matter where they exist - virtually, in your home, or even in person.

*Accidental is defined as occurring by chance, unexpectedly, or unintentionally.

The Skinny: 3 things you will do in this session

  • Learn the importance of leading by example
  • Consider strategies for fostering an environment that supports creativity
  • Experiment with how to weave creativity skills into every learning opportunity
Ismet Mamnoon
Buffalo, NY
Ismet Mamnoon is founder and guardian of imagination at Beyonder which offers training and facilitation for Parents, Educators, and Youth with the mission of using creativity to unlock the human potential of the next generation. She integrates polarity thinking and appreciative inquiry along with creative thinking techniques into her work. Ismet was recently featured in TIME magazine’s article "When Schools get Creative" in their special edition on the Science of Creativity for her creative approach to parenting and for the work that she does globally to weave creativity into education. She was first drawn to the field of creativity and innovation when she became a parent and she speaks intimately about her journey on the TEDx stage. Ismet is a graduate of the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State where she received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.

Ismet is a returning presenter.

Cyndi Burnett
Grand Island, NY
Dr. Cyndi Burnett is Director of, an online platform dedicated to helping parents and educators integrate creativity into their lives. She spent 20 years as an academic, teaching deliberate creative thinking and creative problem-solving at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State.

She received the President's Medal for Excellence in Teaching 2018 by SUNY Buffalo State, was Buffalo Business First, Woman of Influence 2018 for her work in creativity, and was featured in the New York Times article titled, "Creativity Becomes an Academic Discipline." She is the author of Weaving Creativity into Every Strand of Your Curriculum, and My Sandwich Is a Spaceship: Creative Thinking for Parents and Young Children. In her spare time, she dances with her two children, propagates plants, and tries to find the world’s best slice of pizza.

Cyndi is a returning presenter.

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