I’ve loosened up a lot in the last few years. I’ve become an opponent of the stay-in-your-seat style of teaching, mostly because it’s been brought to my attention how it keeps some kid from learning. By insisting that there is only one correct model of how to learn/teach something, we force a growing number of students to waste their energy on sitting still, not talking, and learning by listening and writing. That energy could be better used on learning. Here’s a few ways I think we could bring creativity into learning, whether you’re raising a child or working in education.
Stay flexible. If you notice something isn’t working, change it. Don’t insist on narrowly following a particular lesson plan in a particular way just because that’s how you planned it. Switch books, swap the order of activities, take a play break. Keeping people engaged is key.
Play games. Play hopscotch with sight word flashcards. Play catch while you practice spelling. Have students who work at similar speeds race each other or have students try for a “best time” using a stopwatch.
Laugh together. Laugh at your mistakes. Laugh at silly stories. Laugh at their jokes and laugh when you play games. Laughing makes things fun. It tells others that it’s not too hard or too scary. It loosens the voice of the inner critic, who is the bane of creativity. It invites everyone to be on the same team.
I hope you can use these tactics to make learning more creative!
Do you have things you do to connect with and teach kids? Share in the comments!