When I was a student (well technically I’m still a student but I am referring to my elementary and high school days), I have always detested teachers who would want to make us do activities like role-playing, presentations, and other group collaborations whenever possible. I’m an introvert, so working with people not close to me is really a stressful task, and doing a lot of various activities frequently is also taxing. I thought, “Why do I need to do this activity when I can learn simply by reading or having a plain discussion?” That was me several years ago. But now, especially after going through this week’s readings, I realized that these are strategies of teachers to make class discussions more creative. And I, as a student, should be thankful because of the effort offered by my teachers.
Being a creative teacher requires a lot: effort, time, and other resources. He/She needs to think carefully what kind of activity to initiate that will ensure effective learning as well as artistry, originality, and innovation. A teacher needs to be able to connect key points of lessons to the activities performed, and should also consider students’ inputs and contributions to discussions.
I believe that when a teacher is creative, he/she can also harness creativity from the students. Their mindset is not to be satisfied on mediocre outputs and their actions will not remain complacent. They will strive harder to fit well in the creative environment that their teacher has created. I also believe that eventually, students may internalize this creativity and apply this in their lives outside school.
However, teachers need to be careful in incorporating too much creativity in their teaching because people, especially students and their parents, might misinterpret this for indolence and irresponsibility. They might conclude that these kinds of teachers want to unload their tasks and pass them to students, and they are just sugarcoating it as a “class activity”. If this happens, teachers might feel judged and misinterpreted, which can affect their performance as a whole. That is why teachers need to be careful that objectives are presented before the activity and that they find time to synthesize everything afterwards.
My final note for this module is that I think, being a creative teacher is not easy in my case because of my lack in imagination and creative juices. Nevertheless, I will look back to how my teachers inspired us to learn more and think out of the box so that I, too, can be as creative as they are.
Cremin, T. (2009). Creative teachers and creative teaching (Chapter 3). In Wilson, A. (Ed.). Creativity in Primary Education (2nd ed.). Southernhay East, Exeter: Learning Matters, pp. 36–46.
Henriksen, D., & Mishra, P. (2013). Learning from creative teachers. Educational Leadership, 70(5). Available at http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb13/vol70/num05/Learning-from-Creative-Teachers.aspx