What we often overlook in school classrooms is the space that teachers create for students, and how students reciprocate by being active participants in the learning process. Creativity isn’t just about colour pencils and craft papers. Rather, creative classrooms focus on fundamental virtues like building long-term success in life, problem-solving, innovative ideologies, and effective learning.
Clearly, creativity is not an activity we perform. It is a mode of thinking where one considers the number of tasks in life required to think differently, about an existing concept. As a guide to a classroom full of intrigued, young minds, teachers can introduce creative concepts to brighten every student’s monotonous school life. As simple as it sounds, creativity always starts with imagination. To imagine is to create, and vice-versa.
When teachers design a framework for learning experiences, they should plan a curriculum that provides tools to give their students options, a voice, and a choice to encourage them to be more creative. Let’s look at a few factors that smart teachers follow to instil creativity in their students.
- Removing restrictions that prevent children from being creative.
- Set up learning activities that allow children to explore their creativity in relevant and interesting ways.
- Value every student’s effort in being creative, reward them gradually.
- Teach students multiple ways of being creative and other skills to improve their expressiveness.
Added to these, we have spun together a few more bits to help teachers build more creativity and passion in their classrooms.
- Modern teaching techniques
Teachers, think outside the box! Which student will not pay attention to a new style of teaching? It definitely will grab their attention. The conventional ‘chalk and talk’ method have been a common style for years, but this will not open doors to the creative side of children. Modern teaching methods focus more on an individual student’s capacities rather than assuming all students to be on the same page of learning. Conduct various activities, show videos, and explain informative games for students.
2. Brainstorm Ideas
Teachers should encourage students to have an intra-classroom brainstorming session so that students will feel free to voice out their opinions and concerns. This will help teachers to identify which group of students are better off as planners, which group needs more attention, and which set of students have innovative solutions to simple situations.
3. Go beyond textbooks
Encouraging children to work on projects unrelated to their school subjects allows them to focus on what they are truly passionate about. Allotting a certain period of time before or after class hours will help students to nurture their interests and help them focus on being creative. The ‘genius hour’ as they call it, is implemented in the same manner as open-ended projects, but less frequently.
4. Student teachers
Teachers, take a break. Involve your students in taking up the roles of being teachers. Help students to create captivating quizzes and problems for the whole classroom. Teaching fosters creativity as they develop new ways to present the material.
5. Field Trips
When given an opportunity, plan a field trip for students. Make them understand that the world outside their classrooms is the life they need to prepare for their future. Field trips allow children to visualise the concepts they learn in classrooms. This will help to foster creativity as students think about ways to apply course concepts to the world around them.
6. Be humorous
As strange as it may sound, being humorous is a great way to kick in some creativity. It generates a positive environment where creativity can flourish. Teachers can motivate students to make drawings, create pop culture figurines, write appropriate jokes and design funny posters that make light of the learning process. Teachers should make sure that they choose designs that support a light-hearted approach to ensure students understand that learning can be made fun and experimental, rather than controversial.
7. Pair up the slow learners with students who excel
When there are students who need extra help with learning, pair them with students who are fast learners, as it fosters a supportive environment where students understand their role as responsible individuals. Empowering leadership through creativity is an effective learning strategy.
8. More colour, more life
Having bright coloured/themed walls need not be an exception to primary schools. Colour can be used in creative and unconventional ways to posters in classrooms, themed corners or on the blackboard corners. Encourage students to use different coloured highlighters or pens to mark important sentences when they read their lessons. It is a powerful tool to aid students with absorbing information and learning new content.
Teach students to jot down their favourite thoughts in journals. This sparks creativity among young minds and improves their writing as well as thinking skills.
10. Finally, keep it flexible!
In order to keep the creativity flowing between learning spaces, the classroom layout can be kept adaptable and allowing it to be easily organised. Experiment with different chair arrangements, but make sure that the classroom set-up can accommodate a range of learning activities and work styles.
Remember, students learn by doing. Imagination is the key to creativity. These traits are fuel for future geniuses. It stands to inspire students and should be integrated into every part of their learning. After all, teaching students how to think is far more important than teaching them what to think.