I have a quote on my wall from Albert Einstein, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” One area of success in my classroom is the constant pursuit of encouraging creativity, not only in my students, but also myself. It is not too often when the students and I don’t talk about the importance of creativity and how it can lead to new ways of accomplishing tasks. I am reminded that if I am encouraging creativity with my students, I should expect it of myself. Teaching technology, has always provided me the opportunities to challenge myself for innovative lessons...because it is ever-changing. Many times, sites and apps that I used last year, have been updated or even no longer exist. Thus giving me the opportunity to create something new.
However, this is also where failure can make its entrance into my teaching. Challenging myself to create one new innovative lesson per unit does open the doors for failure...and I must admit sometimes EPIC FAILURES! One such lesson occurred this past fall. I planned and planned and then planned some more for a new lesson with my Computer 7 class. When the day came to implement the lesson with the students, it was disastrous! Yep, disastrous...but I used the lesson as a teaching moment. The students and I discussed how learning should actually take place in the midst of failure. As we continued the day’s lesson, students found themselves “Googling ideas and questions” to come up with solutions to fix our problem. Yes the lesson itself didn’t go as I had planned, but I was able to make it a teachable moment. The students seeing that I had “failed” made the lesson life-changing for them, as they were able to see that learning actually took place when together we started the lesson over with a new, better ideas.
As I begin to look forward to the spring semester, my passion for teaching will continue to drive me to create innovative life-changing lessons. And throughout this process, I will continue to learn from the failures, because maybe that is where my best learning and teaching takes place!
As teachers we all have our passions for certain subjects or topics, the question becomes, “How can we creatively share our passions with our students?” All of us are creative in some way. The lessons students remember are the ones where they see and feel the teacher’s passion for what they do. As the new year begins, many times we set new resolutions and goals, I encourage you to set a goal: tap into your creativity and develop a lesson that actively engages your students. Whether the lesson is a success or a failure (if you are like me) learning will take place.