10 Ways to Help Your Students Be Innovative and Creative
Teachers are not simply trying to teach students “to the test” as it is often suggested. Teachers want to teach their students to think independently and creatively. They hope to inspire their students to be innovative and creative. If you are looking for ways to help your students embrace their creativity, here are ten ideas to get you started.
- Let Students Ask Questions
Let students ask questions – but don’t rush to give them the answers! Yes, this will go against your instinct as a teacher. However, it is important for students to feel brave enough to ask questions and then have the courage to find the answers themselves as often as possible.
- Make Hands-On Learning a Regular Event
Students thrive in hands-on learning environments. When they are given the opportunities to learn through experience rather just a textbook, they will be more innovative.
- Introduce Students to Famous Innovators
Show students why innovation matters and introduce them to famous innovators. With the numerous TED Talk videos available, students can listen to inspiration speeches and see how to take ideas and put them into action.
- Create a Creative Classroom Environment
If your classroom is simply a row of desks, you aren’t exactly setting students up to be creative. Instead, consider creating a STEM classroom with technology and supplies to have on hand for learning opportunities. Create a makerspace corner where students can be innovative.
- Allow Time for Innovation and Creativity
In addition to having a creative space, you also must make time for innovation and creativity. We know your days are already packed with all the standards you must cover, but if you do not leave some space in your schedule for innovation, you can’t expect it to happen.
- Give Students Freedom of Choice
Whenever possible, give students the freedom of choice. For example, if you are assigning projects, give them choices. If a student prefers to use one type of technology over another, let him go for it!
- Encourage Collaboration
Collaboration is necessary for innovation. By talking through ideas and problem-solving as a team, students are more likely to be creative and innovative.
- Feed Students an Inspirational Diet
Creativity needs reinforcement. By exposing students to creative outlets, you are feeding them a diet of creativity. Turn on the music in the classroom, show them art, talk them outside the classroom to see creation.
- Pretend, Pretend, Pretend
Somewhere along the way, teachers and students stop playing pretend. Pretending is just as necessary for older students as it is for elementary students.
- Reassess How You Assess
When it comes to how you evaluate your students, consider using more performance-based assessments or rubrics that leave room for innovation.
By introducing some of these concepts into your classroom, you will help students become innovators and creators.