“Everyone occasionally has new ideas, but how can creativity be encouraged as a regular and reliable part of everyday life? If you are running a company or an organization or a school, how can you make creativity systemic and routine? How do you lead a culture of innovation?” (2).
I am drawn to these questions that Robinson poses, because we CSU San Marcos teacher candidates are constantly being reminded of the importance of promoting innovative, creative, and student-oriented classrooms. Yet, so many of us leave great class discussions, scratching our heads, thinking: Yes! I would love to be that teacher, but how? How do I create this kind of classroom? Not only do we strive to create these types of creative and innovative classrooms, but we too want to create classrooms that allow for creativity everyday. If we can create opportunities for creativity on a daily basis, then we will achieve Robinson’s notion of “systemic and routine” creativity. I like the notion of “systemic” or “routine” creativity, because it teaches students to value their special talents and not just see artistic abilities or their overall creativity as a separate/fun entity outside of an English or Math classroom. I want students to know that creativity is not a practice that occurs only in the elective classes, but can also be a part of every classroom environment as well.
I was discussing some ideas of how we can bring more creativity into our classrooms with some other teacher candidates in my program, and we were suddenly on the topic of the stress of our High School students. They perform in sports, extracurriculars, AP courses, and clubs. They have pressure to perform on tests, they are writing college acceptance, essays, and research papers. Lets not forget, our students have 5 different classes to keep up with, and they are trying to develop their social lives all in the same time.
Ultimately, our students have a lot on their plates, and learning how to juggle all of that stress. In my own experiences, I find it quite hard to be creative when I am stressed out. In fact, when I am busy and have little free time due to life's demands, I will admit that I am not really creative at all. My focus becomes simply on getting things done. Putting creativity to the side is not a good thing, and I do not want to teach kids to think it is either. So, I want to foster a classroom that brings creativity back into our students’ lives, and this could be achieved through teaching my students stress management. I think I can start with teaching my students about mindfulness and learning to be present. If I can take even just five minutes out of my classroom time to have students participate in a mindful activity; whether it be a small meditation or a chance to write and reflect on what is causing them tension in their lives, then I think I will start to foster a creative classroom environment. After these types of activities, I can have my students do some creative writing or work on an individual student driven project where they can explore their interests and, ultimately, their creative sides. My stress management/ mindful lesson ideas are still a work in progress, but I am excited to do my research of how I can best implement these ideas to get students excited about their creative minds.
Robinson, Ken. Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative. Oxford: Capstone, 2011. Print.