I recently went to a Creativity Workshop. It was attended by a lovely variety of people- various ages, countries of origin, professions, with various goals and purposes. As a teacher, I thought- what can I take back, to my colleagues? How can we keep creativity alive in our instruction?
Here are some ideas:
- If you are relaxed and focused, ten minutes is enough to fall into a genuinely creative state of mind.
- It helps any endeavor to take a different perspective. For an artist or writer this might mean imagining they are a bird soaring high above, or that they can dive down into the ocean and walk around. Anyone can try it, or pretend to be their neighbor, telling about the other’s life as if it were their own. Or imagine one is in a different position or place. Any shift in perspective is revealing.
- Return to playfulness. Make the plastic fork talk to the gum wrapper, imagine the toothbrushes are in love, see the pouty face in the tomato.
- Do it for yourself, not for anyone else. Can we let our students own some of their work?
- Creativity and critique are both important but can’t happen at the same moment. Give time to create and don’t unleash that criticizing inner voice until afterward.
- The eraser is as important as the pencil. True for artists as well as writers. Everything you do is not a gem- but there may be some glittering elements to keep form every effort. Pull them out and don’t adore the junk.
- A quote (sorry, I forget the attribution); “Fail, fail again, fail better.” Do the work. Its work. Creativity is not a bolt of lightning or magic moment. Good ideas are often recognized in retrospect, after they have been worked over and over.
So, hit your own “refresh” button and give your students chances to do the same! It feels good, doesn’t it, slicers?