The Creativity Workshop’s hands-on Professional Development Courses for Teachers show educators specific ways they can use creativity as an inspiring and effective learning tool in the classroom.
In a world that is constantly and rapidly changing, creativity skills and the adaptability and flexibility of mind they impart are a major key to success in and out of the 21st century classroom. Creativity exercises are also fun and relaxing and make both teaching and learning richer experiences.
Over the 20 years our program has been in existence, many educators have told us that The Creativity Workshop has made an enormous impact on their professional and personal lives. It has given them new techniques and the confidence to develop their own unique and original ways of thinking. Creativity is something we all were once experts at, if only in our childhood. Even if you haven’t used your creativity in years, you will find yourself quickly under its spell. Creativity is not just for artists and it never goes away. It is just like riding a bike—you remember everything the moment you get back on it! The Workshop helps participants learn how to develop their creativity, and transform and apply it to suit their particular needs.
In our professional development courses in creativity for teachers, we work with K12 through University educators from all disciplines. People from other professions also attend, making for a great mix of perspectives and interpersonal relationships. Many who attend make lasting friendships due to the playful, non-competitive atmosphere of the workshop.
We have created many easy to use and very effective techniques that will help you stay inspired and excited about seeing the world in new and different ways. Most of our exercises can be repeated as 15 minute daily practices once the workshop ends.
The Creativity Workshop’s professional development courses for teachers are attended by people from all over the world. This international aspect of both our participants and the inspiring locations in which the workshop is taught make our Workshop a truly special learning experience.
The Creativity Workshop’s professional development courses for teachers have helped thousands of educators, and through them, their pupils in subjects as wide ranging as mathematics, languages, the sciences, IT, the arts, creative writing and humanities.
The Workshop’s exercises can help you:
- Get over writers’ blocks that can derail self-expression and the sorting out of knowledge.
- Combat fears that stifle new ideas.
- Use creativity to develop leadership and teamwork skills
- Develop peer respect and collaboration among your students and between your peers.
- Engage and focus yours and your students’ curiosity and imagination for a lifetime love of learning.
Detailed Information on The Creativity Workshop
Who comes to The Creativity Workshop’s professional development courses for teachers?
Everyone! Participant teachers arrive from every continent, but Antarctica. They are specialists in humanities and sciences, literature, performing arts, visual art, filmmaking, and creative writing, as well as math, business, science, communications, psychology, medicine, law and computer technology. Our professional development courses for teachers offer tools and techniques that can assist them and their students in developing out-of-the-box thinking, self-confidence, leadership, and respect for peers. Once you try our exercises, your creative, collaborative, writerly and/or artistic skills will surprise and delight you.
Here are some examples of what our techniques do.
1. Overcome the Fear of Trying out New Ways of Thinking and Doing
Using playful exercises in free-form writing and drawing, along with our visualization, relaxation, and mindfulness techniques, participants easily get over the hindrances that make them afraid to experiment and express themselves. The Creativity Workshop’s professional development courses for teacher work against self-censorship in the early stages of creation so imagination has time to blossom and grow.
2. Team Work
Our professional development courses for teachers use quick 10 minute learning modules in which creative collaborations, ranging from two-person teams to a whole class, take part.
3. Finding Your Way around the New Worlds You are Creating
Every project, whether it is primarily creative or analytical, has a process or “way” that helps us navigate and order our discoveries. At the Creativity Workshop we believe that the process to finding the right answer is far more important than the answer. This is because process, in this case the creative one, can be adapted over and over again to serve different ends.
Educators in The Creativity Workshop create 3D multi-media journey maps to illustrate the process and progress of what they are working on—either a specific project or their progress through our course.
4. Free-Form Writing And Automatic Drawing
You will learn how to use these “writing and drawing from the right side of the brain” techniques with your students in order to help the find their unique ways of ideation and develop them.
5. Performing or Storytelling
Storytelling is’natural to us humans. It is one of the most enjoyable and success ways we convey knowledge to others. We do several exercises centered on this theme, including the telling of stories inspired by found objects, as well as having participants conduct interviews in groups of two, after which they must “become” the other person. These activities also teach listening skills, which greatly enhance our abilities to express ourselves and learn from our peers.
6. Changing Perceptions
How we see is important to what we see. We teach a variety of techniques aimed at altering perceptions physically (through cameras, cutout shapes, kaleidoscopes, telescopes, microscopes) and emotionally (through fairy tales, memoir writing, or inter-generational interviews), which assist students in broadening their sense of the world they live in.
7. Creativity in Every day Life
We teach participants how to use their natural surroundings to generate ideas and imagination. We have an on-going exercise at the Workshop, in which we ask you to take 15 minutes each day to relax in a local cafes observing and chronicling what you see around you. Taking time to be ‘lazy’ in a café or in nature will prove to you that inspiration can come from the most pedestrian experiences.
Life in the 20th century is way too busy and flooded with information. In our insanely busy and distracting world, it can be hard to feel as if you have time for the luxury of being creative. Paradoxically, when engaged in the briefest creative activity, you get that focused feeling like time stops or stretches and you have much more of it than before. You will finish the Creativity Workshop’s Professional Development Courses for Teachers with valuable lesson of how to “stretch time” and use our 15-minute modules to do inspired work on an ongoing basis.
9. Carving out Creative Space to Care for Yourself
As a teacher, you spend a lot of time and energy nurturing others. When was the last time you did the same for yourself? We will teach you how to use your imagination and creativity to step away, however briefly, from a life of outside demands. You will leave the workshop feeling refreshed, confident, and playful. Ready to listen to your creative instincts and apply them to the betterment of your personal and professional life.
“Shelley Berc and Alejandro Fogel use the human imagination as their tool for instruction, and each day took us on fantastic journeys of creative exploration. We wrote plays based on tiny, found objects like coins, shells, and charms; we drew images of creatures we imagined as our avatars in the animal kingdom; we wrote letters as our fathers to us at age 16; we relaxed our bodies, and subsequently, our minds and fought our inner critic. And quite frequently what we discovered was the importance of the exercise over the result.”
“We brought back a flood of new ideas for introducing new lesson plans and formulas for tapping into our students’ creativity and expanding their knowledge and ability to learn on a much more creative basis!”
“I cannot tell you how inspiring your workshop was! I continue to draw inspiration from those few days!”
“The Creativity Workshop was presented by Shelley Berc and Alejandro Fogel for 110 members of our faculty. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. One of our teachers even told me she thought this in-service was our “best ever!”
Why was this workshop so important? Because we we learned that creativity is a muscle: use it or lose it; we learned that we must help our students understand that we all “fail, then then fail again”, and hopefully, “fail better”, and that we must send the message to stop trying to be perfect”
“The experience that I had in New York at The Creativity Workshop was not only rewarding, but it was life changing. I went with the idea that I was going to learn ways that I can ignite my student’s imagination and lessons that I can apply in my classroom, but instead I came back with an experience that would change the way I teach and the way I perceive each one of my students and their unique creativity.”
Many educators taking the workshop receive help from The
Fund for Teachers to attend our summer Workshops outside the United States. Recipients receive up to $5,000 each.
Also, there maybe financial help from your school district or university. Contact your Professional Development office.
You can receive a Certificate of Attendance and CEUs for attending our Workshops. Certificates of Attendance and CEUs are available at no additional charge.
What educators say about the workshop:
“I only wish that more people could experience what you have to offer. You gave me a feeling a freedom that I NEVER felt before. Shelley and Alejandro have a great gift to share with others. They give of themselves in a way that is incredibly beautiful. Thank you for touching my soul, for helping me soar!”
“I wrote my first published memoir because of this class. The instructors are magicians! They gently pushed us into discovering our unique creativity.”
“Thank you for the great, great inspiration and fun of The Creativity Workshop. It helped me get a whole screenplay done. It was great for me and my film directing students. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them so happy.”