Creativity in My Classroom
Eleni Tsagari is a High School teacher of English on the island of Syros in the Cyclades, Greece. She has been teaching English for 13 years and she holds an MA in Applied Language Studies: Computing from the University of Kent at Canterbury. She is interested in the implementation of webtools in education. Currently, she is researching the use of art in education. She enjoys travelling, cooking and learning languages. She is a mum to two little girls. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been teaching English for many years and I have always felt it is our responsibility as teachers to reestablish our methodology from time to time and use as many creative and motivating elements in our lesson plans as we can. Due to the recession in Greece, the facilities in schools are getting poorer and less effective and we teachers often struggle to access essential resources (photocopies, maps etc.) and audio visual aids. This new reality has caused me extra stress and anxiety as to how I can work up to the expectations of my students and at the same time spark my motivation and teaching pleasure. I strongly believe that creativity could be the solution to my worries and help me improve my teaching setting. Creativity is essential to the success and fulfilment of our young students and teachers. The trouble is that current plans for the national curriculum due to economic problems seem likely to stifle the creativity of students and teachers alike.
Here is what creativity in the class for me is.
- The use of ICT in our classes is brilliant but a lesson becomes creative when students use computers and web tools to produce their own learning material.
The new generation, the so called digital natives need more audio visual prompts to get involved in the class. One of the important dexterities is digital literacy. Therefore, I am trying to use ICT in my classes. A new thing I am going to show with my lesson plan is the creativity boosting that happens when students use web tools to create their own interactive material (e.g. quizzes). This promotes peer and self-assessment and helps students feel confident and member of a huge team.
- The use of open ended projects
Students are given an option to work on a project of their own choice according to their needs, interests and pace of learning. Students are excited to explore different passions and present their discoveries in ways that are comfortable to them. Here, they will decide on a museum to work on and create an online quiz
- Promotion of team building
Students need to learn how to work together on the solution of a problem without quarrels but with respect and understanding for each other. We teachers should put restraints and assign roles so that all members feel they are contributing to the team and offer solutions to problems.
- Teachers are being creative themselves forgetting about the syllabus. It’s good for our professional life and health as well!!
Teachers as well should deviate from the official syllabus and coursebook and listen to their students’ inner needs and problems. Creative for me means to adjust to the needs of your students every school year and use colour, music, speech, text, kinesthetic aids, to approach them. This gives a meaningful tone to students but it makes our lives exciting as well.
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