Opportunities are everywhere

This is a blog post on how to encourage teachers and students to be more creative in the work that they do and through encouraging this creativity in ourselves we can help improve our student’s learning outcomes, become better teachers and find new approaches and techniques of doing tasks and activities in the classroom. Opportunities are everywhere suggests that we can through creativity we can discover these new opportunities all the time…

The right perspective

It’s Sunday just before dinner and it’s grey and gloomy. That’s how it is in England.  I check the online register to see our numbers for week four.  Another week of summer camp has ended and there’s twenty five new students signed up to give ‘Future leaders’ academy a try tomorrow.  The fourth such group to take part.  They have a galore of activities to choose from: basketball, swimming, tennis, dodge ball, golf, gymnastics, dance, cooking among others, but instead, they have chosen ‘future leaders’ academy.  I find that amazing. It’s summer and they are not in school, but they have made a choice to attend for two and half hours, four days a week, a class about leadership and they are just teens.  I mean, how many people do you know would sign up for that? I don’t know many and I also don’t know any summer camp or language school that offers such a class. So maybe it’s the opportunity. Opportunity. It’s everywhere if we just look for it.  Curiosity and determination are enough to find those opportunities.  Personally, I think we should be looking for opportunities whenever possible.  They offer us a chance to explore, discover or learn something new. They offer us new challenges to take on, to meet interesting people and gain insight on new topics which we previously may have known nothing about.

International classes

Opportunities are everywhere. Including in the classroom.  In summer camps, you have an international class of students, which allows you to really explore a lot of interesting topics that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to incorporate in your lessons.  Stereotypes, Culture norms, Praise vs. Criticism, Career opportunities, Corruption, family roles to name a few, can all be explored from different perspectives and provide students a glimpse in how different and similar we are as well as how we can be better global citizens. That seems doubly important as our world becomes ever more global. And so our leadership class takes center stage for such topics to be discussed.  Students here have been surprisingly eager to understand and learn from each other.  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t still work to be done.  When we get an opportunity we need to try and maximize it’s potential.  Effort to understand and be open-minded to others who are different than us is a process and doesn’t happen in a week’s time.  I have realized that as the weeks have gone by.

It’s a leap of faith I guess, or a parent’s insistence. Every Monday, I know that I have a chance to change hearts and minds though, no matter what. That’s the beauty of it.  All you got to do is plant that seed of interest and then let students figure it out with time. One quality of leadership we cover is curiosity.  We need to stop and wonder, question stuff, and that can lead us down the path of new discovery. Engaging in our imagination allows our students to see many more opportunities.  I urge them to be curious so that they can ask the questions someday that nobody else has asked yet.  Imagine the unimaginable.  It’s asking the right questions that helps us make progress as a human race and allows for creativity and even entrepreneurship.  Most students come from privileged backgrounds and might have the wrong idea about business.

Entrepreneurship and innovation

Business is a lot of things, not just money.  Entrepreneurship is a word none of them know  but offers everyone young or old, student or otherwise a chance to build something.  Something that can change hearts and minds.  Where you can lead by example and encourage others to follow.  Do that, and the financial gains will eventually come but that’s not the ultimate goal, it’s the tribe you create and the following you will build along the way.  Creativity leads to innovation which leads to entrepreneurship.  Creative ideas are new to you, whereas innovative ideas are new to the world.  Innovation is hard, because creativity is easy.  We are creative everyday. You choose the clothes you will wear, the recipe you will make, a shortcut you’ll take and so on. Get it?

So we need to inspire the imagination.  Can I do it in a week’s time? I doubt it, but I will try my damnest.  If we, as teachers, can plant that seed of curiosity, imagination and creativity then my goodness, we’ve done good.  Maybe great. So look for opportunities, and take them. Just like respect.

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Nondas Petas (Visit my website: ESL Trailblazer)
I’ve been teaching English as a foreign language for twelve years now and the journey has taken me across the world.  I’ve had the opportunity to meet students of many nationalities, ages, and levels of English.