Creativity is an important skill for students to learn, and it can help them in their future career endeavors. Creativity allows people to come up with new ideas and solutions that have not previously been thought of before. In the classroom, creativity is often limited by time constraints or simply a lack of creativity skills from the teacher due to very little professional development. But there are things that you can do as a teacher to support your students' creative thinking process:
Create opportunities for student voice and choice in the classroom. This includes letting students choose what they want to work on, how they will do it, and when. This can be as simple as a choice of which type of activity the student would like to complete in class. Whether or not the activity has some form of tech-enhanced element, giving choice is very effective because it allows the teacher to see who has more knowledge about certain topics so that he or she may provide them with opportunities for more learning or offer any help or reteaching to make sure any misconceptions can be fixed. Students should have multiple ways of expressing themselves by using different media such as drawing pictures, making videos, writing essays and poems etcetera. They can even combine or app-smash two separate mediums at any point if they are having trouble brainstorming ideas related to one topic.
Encourage risk-taking in learning by providing students with a safe space to be themselves. It is important to build relationships so that students feel encouraged to communicate their ideas with others. A student's creativity is sparked when they feel safe. The teacher and the students are partners in learning, which will require them to work together as a team with one goal—to grow their creative power so that they can learn more about themselves by being able to safely express themselves in the classroom. The teacher's job is to be a facilitator of creativity, not an enforcer.
Use multiple modes of expression (i.e., art, music, drama). Student Voice, Choice in the Classroom, creativity, collaboration are words that come up often when people talk about 21st-century skills. These skills can be amplified by using different media such as drawing pictures, making videos, writing essays and poems etcetera. They can even combine or app-smash two separate mediums at any point if they are having trouble brainstorming ideas related to one topic ̶ for example an essay might suddenly turn into a poem or video clip with part of speech changed from written word to spoken dialogue ̶ always trying out new things is encouraged! The creative process itself may also help boost morale in students and in the classroom community as students begin to build each other up.
As you can see amplifying creativity does not have to feel like an additional task or duty, it is something that can flow naturally and be embedded into your classrooms quite easily and in a natural way. The creativity that is fostered by these techniques will not only allow for more self-expression, but it will also create a classroom environment that allows students to be themselves and feel free of judgment ̶ this has been shown time and again in the development of student voice.