Let Out The Creative Beast!

Last night’s #EdChat was about how to best promote creativity in schools. Lots of great ideas were suggested but here are a few in particular that stood out to me:

This one was by George Couros:

Which was linked to a recent blog post that can be found here.

Another couple tweets that stuck out to me were by Nicholas Provenzano (AKA @TheNerdyTeacher):

Nicholas also went on to say:

“I feel that teachers are afraid to allow kids to be creative because it forces them to be creative. Thoughts?”

Guess what teachers? If you want to foster and promote creativity in your classroom, you’re going to have to start with yourself. Quit fearing messing up in front of your students. It’s going to happen! Think back to your first year of teaching. Ah, the memories right? Maybe, but I remember lots of failure. Which lead to lots of learning.

I still don’t get it when I hear teachers say things like, “Well the way I’ve been doing things works just fine for me.” Or, “There’s no room for technology in my instructional time.” Really?!? You think there is absolutely nothing you need to do to become better at your job? Anyways, I fear this could quickly turn into a rant. We have to be willing to step out of our comfort zone. I do too. There are aspects of my job when I’m guilty of the same mindset. The ol’ “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!” mindset right? C’mon, let me see a show of hands who has done the same thing….thank you, ah yes I see your hand thank you too.

We have to be willing to “Let Out The Creative Beast” once and a while in our classrooms. Check out this simple, yet effective animated short:

Step 1 was to “Give it permission to come out and play?” How hard is this for some? Very hard. It’s the “let’s just see what happens” thinking. THAT is really hard huh? Just try it some time. We have to GIVE it, it’s not going to come on its own with everything else we have going on.

Step 2 is “Encouraging”. What happens, happens. We can’t look at the students’ work and say, “Yeah well that was OK, but what you should have really done is _______.” Let it lie where it lies and roll with it.

How often are you letting your creative beast out? If we want to promote creativity effectively, we have to let our students see us make a valiant effort at it as well. Remember, that starts with letting them see us FAIL.

I welcome your thoughts and thank you for reading.


7 Comments on “Let Out The Creative Beast!”

  1. Very Nice, Kyle! Took a Myers-Briggs a few days ago. Confirmed what I already knew…among other things I’m a HIGH N! Seeks POSSIBILITIES, including looking into and forecasting the FUTURE,imaginative, conceptual, creative. This is how I’m wired. Traditional school structures are HIGH S…realistic, repetitive, reality based, what is,very in the box. Urg…So…
    I agree it’s time to let the “N” out!:-)

  2. Thanks Kyle for this post! I love the slideshow with its simple but powerful message. I work with a team of teachers who openly admit that they are “not creative” as if it’s a fixed trait. Creativity is perhaps a muscle that must be developed and practiced, not something that we have or don’t have. You have inspired me to write a post. 🙂

  3. Peggy James says:

    I liked your post on creativity. Thanks! I think creativity is such an important part of learning for students of all ages (including educators). How do we expect our students to think of anything new in this world if we don’t teach them to be creative? I completely agree that creativity is a trait that must be developed and practiced. I look forward to reading Joan’s post as well 🙂

  4. I think that NerdyTeacher guy is a genius! 🙂 JK

    Seriously, You did a great job pulling all of the comments form #edchat together and turning it into a wonderful post. Thanks for all of the hard work you put in to #edchat that makes it a wonderful experience for one and all. 🙂

  5. Well said!

    I love the “creative beast” slideshow! It reminds me of Peter Reynold’s animated short “He Was Me”. If you haven’t seen it, check it out at: http://www.fablevision.com/hewasme/

    Creativity is one of the things that I love about my job! We owe it to kids to teach them that there’s more than one approach and answer. The lack of risk taking is so frustrating… and sad. And I’m talking about adults as well as kids!

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  7. Pam says:

    Great post Kyle. You’re absolutely right – some teachers are just too scared about students knowing more then them or doing something better than they can. I see this as a great opportunity for me to learn more. I love the way a student’s face lights up when they know they are teaching you something.

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