I often have co-workers comment about how creative I am. The thing often unsaid in these conversations is that they don’t see themselves as creative and they wish they could do these kind of activities in the classroom as well. But here is a very concrete truth I want to share with you and with them . . .
Everyone is Creative
“Creativity is not the possession of some special class of artistic individuals, but is rather something that can be nurtured and developed in all of us – including your students!”
Don’t make excuses.
You can’t tell yourself that you aren’t creative.
“We all have unbelievable creative potential. It lies dormant just waiting – no begging – to be tapped.”
Find Your Inspiration
Finding inspiration is easy. It is all around us. I often come up with great ideas for the classroom by reading something completely unrelated to the subject or topic. Or my trying something new in my personal life.
Here is a passage from Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess that explores this idea further . . .
“Becoming well-read and involved in a wide variety of interests provides us with the raw resources that we need for what I call Creative Alchemy. Too often, people believe creativity is some esoteric skill that involves coming up with completely original ideas out of the blue. That is rarely the way it works. “
Start a New Hobby
I know, there isn’t enough time to do all of the things we need to do as a classroom teacher such as plan, photocopy, mark student work, and the hundred other things that always seem to pop up. It may seem counter-intuitive to take extra time to pursue a hobby. It is not though. I believe everyone should have a hobby or five.
“Spend more time on your passions, hobbies, and outside areas of interest and then seeks ways to incorporate them into your classroom. Cultivate new hobbies and watch new areas of your brain explode in creative output.”
I skateboard, rap, do a radio show, blog, and write fiction. All of these things I have been able to bring into the classroom in some way shape or form, and it has been amazing!
Expose Yourself to High Quality Thinking
This is a key item. Read a lot and don’t just read teaching related books.
“I believe the best books to read about teaching are rarely in the education section. . . . I consider it one of the most important part of my job to constantly expose myself to the high quality thinking of other people. It challenges me, it keeps me current, and it provides me the raw resources necessary for creative alchemy.
Exploring the world and your passions allows you to bring a new perspective and energy into the classroom. It allows you to become a powerful role model for your students. We always say we want them to be life-long learners, so we must show them what that looks like.”
Become a Well-Rounded Person
“Don’t fall into the trap of thinking time spent developing yourself into a well-rounded person, above and beyond your role as an educator, is wasted or something to feel guilty about. It is essential and will pay dividends in not only your life, but also in your classroom.”
I hope these tips have helped. You can be creative in your professional and personal lives and inspire your students at the same time. It is win-win!
Teaching Tip Tuesday – your weekly source for professional inspiration