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Creativity is important in teaching…

This is not a new idea by a long shot! Creativity helps teachers stay fresh. Creativity helps motivate students and keep them on their toes – they won’t know what’s coming next. Creativity could be the difference between a student engaging in a lesson or becoming (staying?) disengaged through boredom.

The problem is… I’m not creative.

A colleague said to me the other day that I’m good at starting with someone else’s work and editing it – making it better… but if I start with a blank page, I don’t know what to do.

She was right. I couldn’t write about a topic like the original author had, but I could work with something that had already been started.

Does being creative make a great teacher? – I would say that it definitely could (if the creativity is focused in on teaching and learning).

Does not being creative make a poor teacher? – I would argue that, no, it doesn’t have to.

There are many creative teachers in the world. Many! Teaching is about sharing knowledge, skills, understandings, character and more. Many of these creative teachers also share their ideas, resources and skills with other teachers. And so they should! We all know that we shouldn’t ‘reinvent the wheel’.

One thing that makes a good teacher (there are many!), is that they don’t give up. If they try something and it doesn’t work, they might try it again after tweaking it, or they will try something else. They find what works for them and their students.

My advice (for what it’s worth), is that if you’re like me, and don’t feel particularly creative in your teaching, then do more of what you’re doing now! Find education/teaching blogs and read them. Learn from them. Be like a sponge and soak up everything they’ve got to offer. Jump onto twitter and follow some of the 1000s of teachers that are sharing and reflecting on what they’ve tried with their students. Get along to education conferences and soak it all up as well as getting to know others who just want to learn so that they can be a better teacher too!

Now, for those of us who don’t feel creative – we’ve got other things to offer! Figure out what they are (if you don’t already know) and give back!

6 thoughts on “Creativity is important in teaching…

  1. Interesting post. I would say I am a creative teacher in that I constantly having lunatic ideas and implementing them in a haphazard jumble. I’m not a completer-finisher though. I’m not good at seeing stuff through. I worry that my lack of attention and low boredom threshold can get in the way of being a good teacher. I really need people like you to remind me what I’m supposed to be doing!

    Top Tip: read Phil Beadle’s Dancing About Architecture: it’s an amazing way to spark your creativity

    1. Thanks for the comment, David.

      Hadn’t thought about things that way. Being creative or not being creative can be positive or negative I guess. We’ve all got something to offer the teaching world and luckily we’re all individuals with different ways of doing things.

      I’ll look out for that book – thanks for sharing it.


  2. Nathaniel,
    Being an Art teacher for 33 years, retired, became a National Trainer for effective teaching, relocated, substitute taught last year as a basis for discovery about what I train other teachers about, (sort of like undercover boss), I got a first hand look and experience of all types of classroom subjects and environments, I have to say that creativity definitely is important in teaching. Being labelled as a “special area” because of Art ( or some teacher’s contractual break) was a label other teachers placed me as an artist, and when I was on my literacy and tech team, and Student Council Adviser, and National Honor society, and finally Chairman of my site-based council, opinions changed from “What does she know, she’s an artist” to “I never thought of looking at it that way.” Being creative, I believe, a teacher is spontaneous, caring and most of all human. Kids of all ages respect that, and being able to think on your feet when all situations arise are the”Quiet triumphs” that will occur on a level that one never thought possible.

    “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Einstein


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