Creativity in the classroom and bringing new ideas into the students’ perspectives is what teaching is all about! If teachers stop being creative, then learning will cease. Children will no longer become engaged; rather, they will find learning to be dull, and they will see no connection to what you are trying to teach them.
To combat lack of creativity in the classroom, remember these key points.
1. Be hands-on 🙋
2. Incorporate humor 🤪
3. Share real-world experiences 🌎
Providing kids with hands-on experiences in the classroom is crucial to creativity! Interactive activities engage students with the content that they are learning. One of the ways that I’ve discovered to interact with students is through becoming someone you are not. “What does that mean?,” you might ask. Here is an example. I was once given a task to create a lesson based on contractions… and I based my lesson on a hands-on experience through “contraction surgery.” I dressed up as a doctor with a white coat, gloves, a surgical mask, the whole getup. I gave the students gloves, masks, and band-aids and we all became doctors, who specialized in contraction surgery! The students absolutely loved this, and they could not stop talking about it for the rest of the day. I know that this lesson was a success because they were all able to write contractions and sentences using contractions weeks later. Learning is all about being hands-on and interactive with the content, so that is what needs to happen in the classroom! The more engaging your activities are, the more involved that your students will want to be!
The next key point is incorporating humor into your teaching. This could certainly be seen as a balancing act! You want to ensure that your students are listening to you, following the rules, and taking you seriously. However, it’s important to show a fun side to the teacher, too! You know how students get to see “the real you” when you’re out at the grocery store and they run into you? You know what they’re thinking – “Teachers have lives outside of school?!” “They don’t live in the classroom?!” “My teacher shops at the same store that I do?!” 😂 Well you should bring “the real you” with humor and all into the classroom… Humor is not only creative, it is also engaging! Humor can be used as a hook, which will definitely draw kids into the content. They will get to see a different side of you, one that they may not have seen before.
Last but not least, it is critical to make real-world connections to the content that you are teaching. If students find connections between the content that they are learning and their own lives, then it is more likely that the information will stick with them. For example, one of the lessons that I taught was focused on the expedition of Lewis and Clark. I introduced the lesson with a book and discussion about my “big trip” to Italy, and I compared my trip with Lewis and Clark’s “big trip.” Then, as a class, we had a group discussion about the students’ own “big trips” and favorite places that they have been to. Establishing strong real-world connections will benefit students greatly!
Bringing creative activities, lessons, and curriculum ideas in the classroom not only helps teachers to make their lessons engaging, but also helps students to learn better. When students are engaged, and when they enjoy how they are learning the content, the content will stick with them in the long run. Time to get your creative juices flowing!