Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” He also emphasized that “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” What better way to enhance one’s imagination than by enhancing one’s creativity?
Many people believe that creativity is strictly related only to the arts. Nothing could be further from the truth. Perhaps this is so because the same people also believe that only a select few are gifted with creativity—another absolute misconception. Although everyone’s gifted with creativity, we’re all differently gifted at varying levels. As teachers, it’s our duty to reveal to our students their own giftedness which requires some creativity.
Creativity results in innovation which creates breakthroughs in business processes, science, technology, research and development, and in many other areas.
Creativity is part of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). Having creative thinking skills also means open-mindedness, being analytical in problem-solving, organizational skills in planning a course of action, and having great written and oral communication skills, including knowing how to ask the right questions.
Ellis Paul Torrance, the father of modern creativity, defined creativity as “…the process of sensing gaps or disturbing, missing elements; forming ideas or hypotheses concerning them; testing these hypotheses; and communicating the results, possibly modifying and retesting the hypotheses.”
We mean business when we talk about creativity because it widens the imagination of our students as we bring out the best in them. Because we cannot give what we do not have, we too have to be creative in the way that we teach them. Yes, the left part of our brain likes patterns and routines, logic and reason, but the right side of our brain needs variety and novelty in order to work our imagination.
Take your effectiveness as a teacher a notch higher by being creative in your teaching strategies. Here are just five tips.
1. Use Pinterest. Nothing sparks creativity more than seeing wonderful color combinations and designs. Just type in the search bar whatever teacher tip you need, and most likely you’ll find it there. Here’s one Pinterest handle you could follow: Teaching Tips and Resources.
2. Join Facebook Groups. You can find so many Facebook groups related to teaching. You can even find one that’s related to the particular subject you teach. By joining these online groups, you open yourself up to so many creative teachers around the world, not just in your own country.
3. Subscribe to YouTube Channels. Google is undoubtedly the number one search engine in the world. Next to that is YouTube, which is also owned by Google. Learning through videos is the next best thing to actually doing something. You can subscribe to so many YouTube channels for free. You become your own version of a creative genius as you see others at their creative best through their videos.
4. Get Active. Your brain needs a lot of oxygen to function well. Exercising inside your house during this quarantine season or walking outside will do great wonders for the way you think. You could use the above tip to find home workout YouTube channels.
5. Note Down Your Ideas. Whether you prefer to write your ideas in your notebook or type them on your smartphone, remember to capture your ideas before you forget them. Research says we have around 16,000 thoughts per day. Imagine how much creativity our brains have! We either act on these creative thoughts or ignore them. Let’s not waste a good chunk of it. Capture your ideas and execute them for the benefit of your students and fellow teachers.
There are obviously so many ways to become a creatively effective teacher. We’re just scratching the surface. As teachers, we should live out our values of lifelong learning and personal growth as we study daily how to be creative.
We’re raising the next generation of our country’s leaders in our schools. Let’s be at our creative best as we show up and teach them every day for the sake of a better future for all of us.