Ken Robinson famously suggested that creativity is the heart of all successful learning experiences. Creative teaching provides learners rich and varied contexts for developing their subject knowledge and encouraging critical thinking.
In physical schooling, we have a classroom environment that promotes creativity. Students have opportunities to converse and stimulate innovative thinking. As we moved to a physical classroom, I faced the enormous challenge of transforming my virtual class into an environment that could stimulate creative thinking. And I found three ideas suggested by Robert.J.Sternberg to nurture creativity in the classroom and promote it as a habit to be highly useful:-
Opportunity to engage in creativity – Students need varied activities to engage in creativity through interactive and engaging lesson plans. So, I make sure that I plan a few hands-on activities for creative exploration; performance activities like role play and character study to develop a deeper understanding of the concept. Using tools like ‘Do Now, Think-Pair-Share, Put on your Thinking Caps’ allows students to follow along and participate creatively in our lessons.
Encouragement to participate in the opportunity– Sitting with students 5 minutes before a session for an early chat with classmates and I has proved to be a great way to build informal connections in my class. Open discussions on any topic help students think critically, and open-ended questions help students think out of the box and develop innovative solutions.
Allowing students to make even seemingly small choices can be motivating, like letting a student choose which song to play before the lesson starts.
Reward when they respond– Recognising all types of achievements, not only academic but non-academic, has played a vital role in tuning in. Rewarding gives students a sense of pride and an incentive to continue doing great work.
Learning and teaching may seem complicated, but they are much simpler when we use the right tools and teaching strategies. By focusing on the needs of our students and preparing our materials well in advance, we can ensure that our classroom remains creative and rewarding.
Ms Shanthi Shetty
PPM Facilitator, Ekya BTM Layout
College life can be challenging, with multiple responsibilities such as classwork, homework, project work, and examinations all piling up simultaneously. It's no wonder students can feel overwhelmed and stressed. However, learning to manage this workload is vital for success in academics and maintaining mental well-being. Fortunately, there are various methods of managing stress, but physical exercise and meditation are some of the most effective.
Physical exercise has been known to produce endorphins that help reduce stress and relax the mind. Training can take many forms, such as running, swimming, cycling, or playing sports. A simple 30-minute workout every day can go a long way in helping a student cope with academic pressure. Regular exercise can also improve physical health, further contributing to mental well-being.
Meditation, on the other hand, is a mindfulness practice that focuses on the present moment and trains the mind to remain calm and centred. Regular meditation has been found to reduce stress and anxiety levels significantly. Meditating for ten to fifteen minutes twice a day can help improve concentration and boost productivity, which are crucial for academic success.
Combining physical exercise and meditation can produce even more significant results. Physical activity before meditation can help reduce mental chatter, making it easier to focus and remain calm. Moreover, exercise can help release tension from the body, making meditation more comfortable and practical.
Apart from physical exercise and meditation, students can manage stress in other ways. Some of these include getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and seeking support from family and friends. It's crucial to remember that managing stress is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Therefore, students should experiment with different stress-management techniques and identify what works best.
In conclusion, stress is a common experience among students, but learning how to manage it effectively is essential. Regular physical exercise and meditation can significantly reduce stress, improve mental well-being, and boost academic performance. However, these are not the only ways to manage stress; students should experiment with different techniques to find what works best for them. With the right tools and strategies, students can overcome academic pressure and maintain their well-being.
-Dwijesh Bhaskar XII D