Beykent University, Turkey, January 20-22, 2020

Thinking whether I was a creative teacher or whether I provided the learners with the opportunity of being creative during their language learning journey, I found myself in the training session organized by Beykent University in cooperation with Bell Education between 20-22 January 2020. I had these questions before I started the training sessions: What did being creative mean at all to me as a teacher? What does it mean to the learners themselves? Having been through an exhausting semester full of teaching hours, professional development and administrative work, I could finally have some time off and start contemplating about one of the biggest elephants in the room: creativity. How I was going to tackle the elephant proved a daunting task. Nonetheless, it turned out to be a bit easier than I thought. The training sessions on creativity in the classroom helped me move the elephant a bit and rendered me more insightful into the classroom practices which incorporate ‘’creative’’ elements.

The training, which lasted for three days, started off with the definition(s) of creativity, how to be creative and why we need creativity inside a classroom setting. Using our own conceptions of creativity, Kristina – our enchanting teacher trainer- took us down a journey with her vigilant presence in the room into the abyss of creativity. During these three days, the participants had the chance to not only see the theoretical background of creativity in the classroom but also its connection to praxis. In other words, the participants were actively engaged in all the creative activities originally designed for learners, which indubitably raised our level of understanding the connection between student engagement and tasks that require creativity at certain levels. This understanding was also reinforced by the role of motivation and surprise in creativity inside the language classroom. Acting as learners and teachers in Kristina’s sessions, we were empowered and demonstrated our fullest potential to achieve the tasks in the most appropriate and creative way. Therefore, I cannot imagine how empowered the learners will be feeling upon being summoned to raise their voice in such creative ways. In addition, we have also revisited concepts such as active learning, student-centeredness, and the impact of collaborative work on creativity.

Even though I was aware of the power of creativity to shine up the classroom and engage students more than ever, the sessions granted me an insight into using the element of creativity in vocabulary, grammar, writing and reading lessons. Our trainer provided us with quite practical tips on awakening the creative giant within and without. On the other hand, I was able to witness that I had already applied some of the activities that Kristina showed in the classroom. On the last day, all participants collaborated on designing a creative lesson using our own books and provide feedback on each other’s work. These three days proved fruitful for me as we were engaged and acted as active components of the learning process with our own contributions.