For this week’s #youredustory, I am going to to last week’s topic: How do you promote creativity and creative confidence in your classroom/school?
My “hustle,” my “purpose,” and my happiness all center around creativity. It’s in everything I do. I used to assume this was the case for everyone, but sadly, it is not.
As a high school English teacher, I asked my students to think outside of the box, to write creatively, to add in art and music into all that they do. However, I was confronted with moaning & groaning from some. When I allowed for choice, I saw blank faces. As a classroom teacher, I felt frustrated. I provided opportunities to be creative, but many of my students did not take those opportunities. They chastised their own work. They said “I’m not an artist.” Do only artists have creativity?
I was far from a perfect classroom teacher – if that exists – but my frustration led me to want to affect change at a larger level. I found the lack of creative confidence in my class to be a larger issue. I didn’t think it was limited to my class. Rather, I thought this was an idea instilled in students from multiple fronts.
As somebody who no longer has a classroom of her own, I look at the creative confidence as a school. My advisory students are seldom willing to jump out of their comfort zone. This leap coincides with your creative confidence. Going out of the area of comfort is improving your creative confidence.
Since my contact with students is more through clubs now, I’ve decided to target staff. And, I’ve found staff lack that creative confidence as well.
So, my first “attack” on this lack of creative confidence is through makerspaces. When you are making, you are taking risks. There is no right way to make. You do not fail. Your project may not work, but since the idea of making is to “keep on,” there is no failure. This idea that you keep on going until your project meets your goals is what improves creative confidence. You have to view creating as a process. You don’t create and then finish. Instead, you continue. You don’t stop. Makerspaces are a great way to promote this concept. They have a low failure risk and encourage those to jump outside of their comfort zone who may not normally do so.
My second “attack” is through persistence. Creative confidence is persistence so I show persistence in all I do with staff. I promote creativity in my walls and what I choose to display. I also do it through my actions. I offer weekly trainings and even though I don’t always get the attendance, I continue to offer them in the hopes that people will come. I am modeling. I am continuing to try. This is, perhaps, the most important idea of creativity.
I hang my own art on my walls. I’ve added color. I’ve provided a multitude of spaces to think, to reflect, to be creative.
How do you promote creativity and creative confidence in your school and classroom?