A More Creative Teacher
The best lecturer is an
interesting book. Realizing this opens the way for innovations in teaching.
Instead of telling students, we involve them so they are eager to learn.
By becoming more creative teachers, we discover that teaching can be
a fascinating adventure.
Teaching With Purpose
When teaching serves our life purposes,
it takes on a special meaning as a mission. What are our life purposes
and teaching mission? Instead of simply emulating the style of admired
teachers, we create a unique way to teach that serves our own purposes.
Identity Affects How You Teach
Identity affects what we try as
teachers, If our identities are too conventional, we restrict our creativity
and diminish our willingness to take risks. By remodeling our identities,
we discover creative ways to teach that inspire us and our students.
Cultivate A Playful Mind
Playful mind is flexible, imaginative,
and eager to think in new ways. With a playful mind, designing innovative
learning processes becomes easier. We learn to cultivate more playful
thinking, which expands our ability to invent novel approaches in our
You Have Special Gifts
Most of us are unaware of our special
gifts for teaching. Those gifts are the "creativity tools" we can use
to enliven education. Knowing how and when to use specific tools is
part of becoming a more creative and effective teacher.
Engage Students In Active
"Tell me and I'll forget. Show me
and I'll learn. Involve me and I'll understand." Students become involved
when we create experiential exercises that awaken and engage their minds.
By emphasizing active learning, we see a sudden rise in students' attention
Willing To Take Risks
Fear permeates education. Teachers
and students alike may hold back for fear of being wrong or looking
foolish. Those fears add too much caution to learning. We discover how
to reduce the size of our fears in order to bring new vitality to teaching
Manage The Size Of Your Ego
Ego is concern for oneself and
its survival. The smaller the ego feels, the more it tries to inflate
its size. Education is dramatically affected by teachers and students
trying to manage the size of their egos. We use "Recovery Claims"
to keep our egos from shrinking.
Create Motivation and Participation
Motivation and participation can be created.
We learn to motivate our students by designing learning exercises on
"the four cornerstones of motivation." We increase their participation
by understanding what holds them back.
Service Stimulates Learning
When students serve in the community while learning
in the classroom, their motivation escalates. With greater interest,
their engagement with issues deepens, so classroom learning becomes
The mind becomes more playful when it is surprised.
One way to surprise it is by creating arbitrary "inspiration points."
This adds a steady stream of novelty to teaching. By learning to create
our own inspiration, we discover how easy it is to generate ideas for
11: Develop Novel
Ideas For Teaching
It is easy to fall into a rut while teaching.
To discover new ideas and approaches, we travel down unusual pathways.
We use "Object Play" and "Mind Switching" to stimulate our search. When
we do, we find creative ideas coming to us with little effort. Fun is
added to teaching.
12: Nurture Positive
Teachers invent stories about students. When
the stories are negative, relationships with students suffer. When they
are positive, good relationships develop. By revising our stories, we
nurture more positive relationships with our students. This increases
mutual trust and respect.
13: Create Balance
We can become so overworked as teachers, we fall out of balance, feel
miserable, and lose our enthusiasm for teaching. Recovering balance
helps us to create a greater sense of contentment. While innovating,
we accommodate conflicting inner voices, then balance workloads.
14: Stop The
Stories That Torture You
We may live in stories of belief that limit us
and make us miserable as teachers. Assumptions are beliefs that limit
our thinking. Ideals are beliefs that can lead to disappointment and
unhappiness. We change our stories so teaching becomes more creative
15: Give Up Resistance
Resisting what cannot be changed produces frustration.
Becoming resigned to situations that can be changed causes alienation.
When we give up resistance and resignation, we create a new sense of
freedom and greater ease in teaching.
16: Use Questions
To Guide The Mind
Teachers often ask questions without a clear
sense for their impact on the activity of the mind. Questions guide
what the mind thinks about and how deeply it engages an issue. We learn
to use questions consciously to deepen inquiry, expand options, and
empower students to change.
Listening usually occurs on the surface. Facts
and feelings may be heard, but needs and desires for change are often
missed. By learning to listen at four levels, we hear more as teachers,
which gives us the ability to deepen any discussion and to solve problems
18: Leading Dynamic
Discussions are great learning opportunities
when they are focused and dynamic. When we listen deeply and ask probing
questions, we engage the interest of students and intensify their learning.
The ability to lead dynamic discussions gives our teaching greater impact.
19: Be Receptive
When receiving "criticism," a teacher's ego is
likely to deflate, so listening stops. "Defend" and "counterattack"
may be automatic. We discover how we respond to criticisms, then develop
greater receptivity to coaching and change. Our effectiveness increases
as a result.
When teachers give feedback to students, it is
often negative. Using the "Sandwich Technique" while coaching, we create
a better balance between positive and negative feedback. We show students
what they are doing well and what they might change.
"Nightmare" students present unique and creative
challenges. There are the "unmotivated," "critics," "minimalists," and
"tormentors." Like sleeping nightmares, we wish they did not exist,
but they do. How we teach can also make normal students into nightmares.
Is Always Possible
When circumstances seem too limiting, we may
play it safe and take a conventional approach rather than be creative.
Imposed requirements or teaching a large class may weaken our resolve
to the point where we forget that using a creative approach is always
"Wisdom" is not a word often heard in teaching.
Yet, when we ask questions about wisdom, the mind gladly seeks answers.
We discover the power of wisdom to open new understandings about any
issue. We use wisdom as a crucial part of our creativity as teachers.
24: Looking Back
Creative teaching enlivens education, deepens
a teacher's impact on the thinking and lives of students, and leads
to a sense of greater fulfillment. Imagining those possibilities for
ourselves, we discover why we became teachers.
To buy the book, go
to Green Dragon Books.