Humans have to prove their creativity and initiative in all areas of life. These requirements of the contemporary world require innovative ideas and approaches. Innovation is a process that involves imagination and creativity. Brilliant thinkers, geniuses and ordinary people proved to be creative whenever they discovered fantastic theories and concepts, exciting ideas. The importance of creativity for the human condition is obvious – without it we have no art, no literature, no science, no innovation, no progress. But creativity has an equally important role in education.
Humans are wonderfully made. We are unique. We are the most complex organisms in the world. The human brain is an amazing organ, fearfully and wonderfully made. It has the ability to learn, reason, control functions of the body, concentrate, adapt. However, probably the most unknown and yet most extraordinary ability of the human brain is that it is able to CREATE. It is only us, the humans, who are given the wonderful privilege of creating. Everything humanity has achieved is a result of the creative force we have been blessed with. It is a gift we should recognize and use as much as possible because it is an inexhaustible source of power and energy, an essential factor of progress in the evolution of the contemporary world. No other species on Earth has this ability.
We live in a world that is changing faster than ever before, a world which has to face challenges never met before. Today, we are expected to play an active and decisive role in everything we do. There is an increasing need of intelligence and imagination.
Unfortunately, traditional education does not encourage students to develop their creativity. There are some standardized limits that give little room to unconventional thinking. The new generation needs to be prepared to find solutions not only for the known, but also for the unknown problems people have to face. Therefore, education should think forward and reconsider the way the next generation should be trained and inspired. This means that some of the basic assumptions of our education system should be reviewed, new approaches are needed. Modern education calls for authentic activities, better understanding, real-world problem solving. In the 21stcentury there is a call for new priorities in education, such as a stronger emphasis on creativity.
When we say “creativity” we usually think about the Arts, but creativity can be nurtured with all the other disciplines. As far as English is concerned creativity has special meanings. Due to the great variety of subjects to be tackled, English classes are the perfect environment of exploration – a beautiful blend of knowledge and creativity. The creative act in the language classroom develops creative thinking, communication skills, co-operation, curiosity, imagination, open-mindedness, critical thinking, improves self-esteem.
I love being an English teacher. It was my childhood dream and I am happy to live my life doing what I love. We teach who we are and I involuntarily teach who I am. I believe it is the same with every teacher. If there is something that interests us as people it shows itself in the classroom. I have always been fascinated by the way in which each students reacts differently to the same problem. It is such a wonderful experience –each time- to see students surprised by their own capacity of finding solutions. It is motivating both for the student and the teacher. A single moment of creative success brings energy for the entire day. A creative activity transforms and gives colour to an ordinary lesson, thus awakening interest in learning. Grammar, vocabulary learning, speaking or writing can become colourful, sparkling, funny and extremely easy. Hence the importance and educational use of the creative potential that lies in our students and of course in us, the teachers.
By using creative activities in English classes, I try to raise awareness of the fact that today teachers educate a new generation that should be encouraged to test, explore and innovate, to seek out and experiment with new things and ideas. They should be encouraged to ask questions, to have the courage to make mistakes and see these mistakes as an opportunity for learning rather than a failure. Most children are naturally curious and highly imaginative, they have an extraordinary capacity to adapt to new situations, they are gifted and creative. We have the responsibility to give our students the best conditions to be creative and let their skills, knowledge and abilities shine.