When and how are we creative?


I don’t know about you but creativity does not seem to be something that you can draw on exactly when you want it.

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with a great idea or fresh new perspective? Have you ever been on holiday and suddenly seen the world, your life, your ambitions in a different light? But when asked to come up with something new at 2.40 in the afternoon, it just doesn’t happen.

I was recently reading a blog from a well-respected educationalist in Japan. He wrote about how he purposefully gives his subconscious time to dwell on matters that require creativity; in his case jokes and dialogues for his course books. For him, he consciously considers the problem at hand in the morning, forgets about it, and by the evening his subconscious has found the answer.

How does this apply to teaching 1-1. Well, in many ways e.g.

  • developing lesson plans
  • giving your students time to be creative

Looking at the second example, it might be a good idea to ‘alert’ your student to particularly creative language practice well in advance, so that they can perform at their best. Another reason for good planning!

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