Teaching is all about creativity

It all starts when you are organizing the room where you teach. And there are many questions we should ask ourselves when doing that… Am I going to have a big table or many small tables? A board? Chairs? Desks? Posters? Pictures? Books? Games? A stereo? A projector? A computer? A cell phone? What about seating arrangements? Students have to feel their room is a unique place which will also help them in their learning process and will nurture their creativity.

Creativity strikes again when you are planning your classes and selecting the materials, the songs, the videos, the sites, the activities, homework, that is, everything you need for the class you are going to teach. While planning your classes, think outside the box – challenge your assumptions, take on new perspectives, brainstorm new ideas, and above all, be innovative and creative. Surprise yourself. Your students deserve the best and that is what they are going to get when they come to class.

When it is time for teaching, creativity is going to be there with us every step of the way. It is time to surprise your students, to turn your class upside down, and to shake things up a little. Why not break free of our routine? Have you ever considered starting your class from the end? Although we were taught all our classes must have a warm-up, a development phase, and a wrap-up, we do not have to do things the same way every single class.

All our students are creative in their own way and so are you. And when we all come to class, several different worlds collide! And this is something fascinating as we are all going to contribute to each other’s growth. Be yourself. Let your students be themselves. Share life stories. Listen to people. Be curious. Ask genuine questions. Be there with your heart and soul. You can help your students make the most out of each and every learning opportunity and excel.

And finally, your world may be the first one to be explored so as to make your students comfortable when it is time to explore theirs. Have you ever thought about having your students get to know more about you and your everyday life through songs, pictures, and videos in a totally different way? Not yet! So, stay tuned… Show your students random pictures you have taken (if you happen to have an Instagram account, you can project the pictures. Remember to remove the subtitles) and ask your students to say how they relate to your life as well as create subtitles for them. What about using a video you really like or the last video you posted on Facebook (if you happen to have an account)? Again, you can ask your students to say how it relates to your life and guess what you have written in the post. I am sure they will come up with the most amazing and hilarious stories and really exercise their creativity.

Now it is your turn to put all this into practice. Are you ready to let creativity in?


Michele Schwertner is a freelance teacher, teacher trainer, and e-moderator. She has been teaching English for over 20 years and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Educational Technologies at UFSM (Universidade Federal de Santa Maria). Her research and teaching interests lie in teacher development, distance education, CALL, digital learning/teaching materials and resources, e-moderating, multimodalities and multiliteracies.

  • Zoe Tysoe
    Posted at 12:46h, 02 fevereiro Responder

    Wow – I love the idea of starting your class from the end! Sometimes as teachers we get so bogged down with the routine and trying to ‘do things right’ that we forget we are in a really creative profession. I’m definitely going to try that one next time I’m in the classroom – thanks Michele!

    • Michele Schwertner
      Michele Schwertner
      Posted at 12:38h, 01 março Responder

      You’re very much welcome, Zoe!

  • Paulo Silva
    Posted at 09:30h, 04 fevereiro Responder

    As a beginner, I have been reading many thing about how to make me a better teacher and you have contribuited a lot. Thanks for you share your excellent hints with everybody.

    • Michele Schwertner
      Michele Schwertner
      Posted at 12:39h, 01 março Responder

      Dear Paulo,
      I’m really happy I was able to help you out!

  • Catia
    Posted at 15:05h, 04 fevereiro Responder

    Your wise words have touched me again… I’ve been following your work for a while now and you never stop wowing me.

    • Michele Schwertner
      Michele Schwertner
      Posted at 12:40h, 01 março Responder

      Dear Catia,
      thanks a lot for all the kind words!

  • Fernanda de P. Capobiango Moreira
    Posted at 15:48h, 28 maio Responder

    By letting students be themselves, we ‘re kind of personalizing learning as well.
    Thanks for the creative thoughts, Michele!

    • Michele Schwertner
      Michele Schwertner
      Posted at 16:37h, 28 maio Responder

      I wholeheartedly agree with you!
      BTW, you’re very much welcome! And thank you for reading my post!

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