Creativity can invigorate a classroom environment—and the teacher’s creativity is central to that dynamic. Here’s why, and also how to optimize the creative vibe.
Is your child’s class a hub of creativity?
Are children encouraged to tackle problems and to try unique approaches? To stray off the beaten path when tackling assignments? To take a longer if necessary to finish something that requires additional thought or imagination? To brainstorm ideas with one another? To seek a wide range of resources?
The key to all of that? Creative teachers who inspire students to be creative, too!
I was recently asked what role a teacher’s creativity plays in their success in the classroom—if it makes a difference and, if so, how it can be maximized. That’s a loaded inquiry!
The answer is yes, it makes a difference. In short, that’s because creativity is invigorating, and it leads to enhanced understandings and joy. I believe that infusing creativity into the classroom dynamic—the daily lessons, interactions, and activities—is a professional responsibility. Creativity should be imbued into all that teachers do. But how?
Maximizing Teachers’ Creativity
Teachers can demonstrate a willingness to push past and/or sharpen the edges of what they already know—and typically do—and then use this information as springboards to teach more expansively. They can fortify their creativity by finding conventional and unconventional resources; by engaging in partnerships, mentorships, and professional development opportunities; and by using their imagination.
When parents advocate for more PD and resource access in schools, and thank teachers for extending themselves in these ways, the messages are appreciated. Moreover, they serve to encourage continued creativity on the part of teachers, and this is then reflected within classrooms.
Exemplifying the Creative Vibe
I listened to an episode of the Ponder Out Loud podcast that focused on successful teaching and learning environments. Host Stephen Barkley talked about the WOW factor, and described one teacher’s creative approach to teaching math concepts.
She arranged to have a mysterious gift box delivered to the class …