Monday, February 22, 2010

Creativity in class and in life

-You  have to be creative!!!!!
Yeah....right. As if creativity is something we could just turn on and off whenever we want.

 It doesn't happen that way.
 Before I used to get "blocked" quite often,  just staring at my lesson plan page for a long time before having an inspiration to  write something down.

 That inspiration thing is also something to think about.
 I've heard authors who I admire profoundly saying that is mostly about hard work rather than inspiration.
 "More transpiration, less inpiration".

 Creativity is important not only in class as we currently live in a fast paced, changing world. In a world where traditional methods don't seem to work any more and we are constantly facing problems that are completely new.
 There is another factor which is technology.
 Being an edtech teacher forces you to explore the unknown and broaden your options. It also connects you with incredibly talented teachers who stimulates your brain on regular basis.

 We know it is important to be creative but is it possible to stimulate it?

As my skills as a teacher began to develop, as I got  more secure about choices I had to make ,as I become more aware of human's personality, I started to feel my classes were more innovative.

I am no expert but speaking from my own experience, I think that in order to stimulate your mind to think "outside the box" we have  to first:

* Stop undermining our NEW ideas.
Maybe it is because we are insecure, maybe it has something to do with the unknown and unexplored but whenever something new pops up, our mind tends to immediatley over think it, over criticize it and most of us end up disregarding that new thought that was about to be born.

* Connect to people:
I feel suddenly energized when I am near engaged, motivated teachers. I also feel the exact opposite when I'm around teachers with negative thinking.
Sharing ideas, experiences, worries stimulates our brain and allows us to step away from patterned thinking.
It is refreshing to hear a teacher sharing something you have never even thought about.
Taking up the previous tip: don't be afraid to explore it.

* Look at the big picture
I am always saying this to teachers "Run as fast as you can from your comfort zone". I say that because I believe teaching is a dynamic process and we are constantly challenged to explore new horizons.

* Take risks
 Answer me fast: Who are the best learners in class? Who are the students who develop more in our groups?
I'm sure we all agree that are the students who take more chances, who expose themselves more often, who takes risks, who aren't afraid of making a mistake.
As professionals we can't randomly do whatever we want. We have to be cautious, prudent but we can not avoid taking risks.
 Calculate them, give our best try and if they don't work......At least you learned something new.
 Language classes always require a good sense of humor. Enjoy that!

You know what thay say:
"Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from."

When we reach for the top of the box, when we are willing to look there and see what might there be outisde,  we take a huge risk:

     fall out to the other side and never ever feel like entering it again.


roberta said...

Once a teacher of mine said that sitting down and waiting for inspiration is a waste of time. You have to start acting and ideas will come out.