Teachers' Creativity

Teachers' Creativity

Education January 05, 2024 / By Joanne Foster, EdD
Teachers' Creativity

Creativity can invigorate a classroom environment—and the teacher’s creativity is central to that dynamic. Here’s why, and also how to optimize the creative vibe.

Is your child’s class a hub of creativity? Are children encouraged to tackle problems and to try unique approaches? To stray off the beaten path when tackling assignments? To take a longer if necessary to finish something that requires additional thought or imagination? To brainstorm ideas with one another? To seek a wide range of resources?

The key to all of that? Creative teachers who inspire students to be creative, too!

I was recently asked what role a teacher’s creativity plays in their success in the classroom—if it makes a difference and, if so, how it can be maximized. That’s a loaded inquiry!

The answer is yes, it makes a difference. In short, that’s because creativity is invigorating, and it leads to enhanced understandings and joy. I believe that infusing creativity into the classroom dynamic—the daily lessons, interactions, and activities—is a professional responsibility. Creativity should be imbued into all that teachers do. But how?

Maximizing Teachers’ Creativity

Teachers can demonstrate a willingness to push past and/or sharpen the edges of what they already know—and typically do—and then use this information as springboards to teach more expansively. They can fortify their creativity by finding conventional and unconventional resources; by engaging in partnerships, mentorships, and professional development opportunities; and by using their imagination. When parents advocate for more PD and resource access in schools, and thank teachers for extending themselves in these ways, the messages are appreciated. Moreover, they serve to encourage continued creativity on the part of teachers, and this is then reflected within classrooms.

Exemplifying the Creative Vibe

I listened to an episode of the Ponder Out Loud podcast that focused on successful teaching and learning environments. Host Stephen Barkley talked about the WOW factor, and described one teacher’s creative approach to teaching math concepts. She arranged to have a mysterious gift box delivered to the class, with a card indicating that the children were not allowed to open it until they could ascertain the volume of the box. They had to work together to figure it out. Once they did, they discovered a long, intertwined coil of wrapped candy inside, along with a card stating that they couldn’t have any until they determined how to share it fairly. Again, they had to collaborate, and do the math. Ensuing lessons invited everyone’s input, honoured their capacities, and were fun for all! This teacher’s creative instructional methods were motivating!

A creative approach complements preparation, knowledge, hard work and resolve, all of which lead to discoveries and learning adventures.


Here are some suggestions for teachers who aspire to build and support their own creativity—and by extension, that of their students. (These suggestions are applicable for parents, too!)

  1. Respect your own aspirations, strengths, curiosity, and individuality. Have faith in your abilities.
  2. Be accepting of guidance and constructive advice from others.
  3. Make the choice to be creative, and thereby increase the breadth and depth of your learning and professionalism.

Finally, it’s imperative for teachers (and also parents, grandparents, coaches, and others) to value creativity, and to demonstrate that as often as possible. Creativity can enhance the flow of ideas, elicit pleasure and pride, and has the potential to enrich, inform, and inspire everyone within its sphere. Kudos to all teachers who appreciate, embrace, and foster creative vibes—and to all parents who support them!

Author’s Note: Check out the five Ponder Out Loud podcasts wherein I share additional information about creativity for parents, teachers, and kids. https://barkleypd.com/podcasts/

About the Author:

Joanne Foster, Ed.D. is a multiple award-winning author of eight books. Her most recent is Ignite Your Ideas: Creativity for Kids. To find out about her publications and presentations, and for resources on supporting children’s well-being and learning, visit https://joannefoster.ca

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