Imagination. Disruption. Possibility.
It’s all possible in a classroom.
Every day, every teacher is faced with enormous creative challenges: How does she teach the skills and content necessary in the most creative and engaging way? How does she inspire her students to love her subject? How does she reach students who are struggling? How does she ensure that every child is learning, especially when there are so many different kinds of learners in her classroom?
Each of these questions requires a creative response. Teachers need to use their imaginations and think deeply about these questions on a daily basis. The best teachers are inevitably the ones who engage with these big questions often and experiment with different ideas and solutions.
There are few activities as creatively challenging and engaging as designing a really good lesson plan. You’ve got to get your students’ attention. You’ve got to find a way to ask big, open-ended questions. You’ve got to design a learning task that helps students master a complex skill. A great lesson plan is a creative endeavor.
Similarly, in the classroom itself, teaching requires an element of creative performance. A teacher has to be a creative performer in order to hold the attention of angsty teens or distracted kindergarteners.
As teachers, one of the most important things we can do is to begin to tap into our own creative abilities. We need to ask ourselves how we can think about a topic differently, teach a concept in a more engaging way, try something new in our classroom, and break the regular script in some way.
What’s the most creative profession around? I would argue that it’s teaching.