painting courtesy of Big Stock Photo
Stav Papadopoulos : Training and Inspiring Creative Teachers
Training and Inspiring Creative Teachers
By Stav Papadopoulos
In a world awakening to the value of creativity in life, we teachers are called upon to play a most important role; that of placing creativity in the very heart of our lesson, enhancing the learning process and diffusing its enlightening effect on our students.
There is talent waiting to be discovered
Teachers are not the mere manager or the moderator of proceedings in the classroom. Given the chance to explore their multi-faceted role, the extent of their capabilities will spring forth that will surprise even the most conscious of them. Encouraging teachers to find their niche and to dare use their creative flair will subsequently reach the hearts and minds of our students.
Inviting teachers to participate in sessions with creative teaching ideas will mean a big turnout. No sooner than the invitations for creativity workshops go out than the positive responses come in. As more of them realize the effects of such activities on their teaching craft, they become even more interested in further developing their skills and seek ways to incorporate them into their curriculum.
Preparing for such sessions with both veteran and new teachers can be challenging but no more than that of planning for the next day’s lesson, or any other presentation, however formal. They are all just as equally important and start from the same premise. Love for what you do.
Form a creative circle
Creative teaching workshops bring teachers together so that they can all benefit from the experience. What happens during these teacher circles is that the experience of the experienced merges with the fresh perspectives of the newcomers. Everyone has something to contribute. The results are awesome!
What you need to make it happen
Setting out on a new endeavor is always very exciting but also somehow intimidating. However, you have gone the full distance and once that has happened, you will eagerly want to pass the flaming torch of passion for what you do to others. Together with this burning desire to tell all you need to remember to be yourself; the generous, inspiring and compassionate teacher that you really are and confidence and skill will follow.
Not just a show
Your experience will speak for itself but it is your genuine interest in the people you are addressing that is most important. They are expecting you to share what experience has taught you and to offer them not just a demonstration of your wisdom and skills but a fresh and truly useful proposition coming as a result of fun activities and an engaging discussion an interaction among all.
Leave no stone unturned
Preparing for your creative teaching workshops means that you are aware of the missing element and that you are willing to go out there, do all the necessary research, find a path if not two and lead others to it. Watch them go at it and when they come to you with news of alternate routes they found, the satisfaction you derive for having spurred them on is immense.
Keep everyone in the loop
Creativity doesn’t come easy to everyone. Just as in any class, there are those who can surpass the teacher in talent and will need no assistance, while others will have a hard time liberating themselves from the constraints of the routine they are trapped in and will delay making the transition. There will be lots of views, comments, objections perhaps driven by fear but don’t forget everyone included deserves to have his voice heard. Give them more of what they need whether it is ideas, examples, materials, sources of inspiration, encouragement, time, a private session-anything that will help!
Being a guide for teachers is worth it in the long run. Spending time with those teachers, who don’t have much faith in their abilities and hesitate or struggle to find their imaginative self may require that you go the extra mile but once they do, it is a revelation. •
© 2013 Stav Papadopoulos. All rights reserved.
Stav Papadopoulos is a life-long learner and teacher of foreign languages. She conducts creative language teaching workshops, travels for inspiration, and writes e-books and school plays. More »