Published December 8, 2023 in Category

Creativty in Education: The Impact of Arts in the Classroom

In the classroom culture of our post pandemic world, the role of creativity to foster a dynamic and supportive learning environment cannot be overstated. Every year I work with thousands of students in schools across Canada and in online sessions. These ideas come from working with students and teachers day in and day out.

Unlocking Potential Through Arts in Education

Creativity requires risk-taking. And risk-taking requires a safe and supportive environment. If you want your students to step out of their comfort zone to take risks and try something new, especially in front of their peers, you have to create a space where making mistakes is OK.

Arts in Education can do this. It can engage a student's imagination, help them see themselves, their talents, gifts, abilities, interests and experiences with new eyes. It can empower creative exploration so students can discover strengths they never knew they had. And through that discovery, they gain the confidence they need to face the challenges in their life.

Building a Safe Haven for Creativity

Creating a supportive classroom environment is the cornerstone of unlocking the creative potential of your students. The journey toward self-discovery often begins with feeling secure enough to take risks and embrace the unknown.

Establishing Trust and Open Communication

Teachers play a pivotal role in creating a safe haven where students feel comfortable expressing themselves without the fear of judgment. By fostering a culture of trust, educators empower students to voice their ideas and explore their creativity freely.

Fostering a Judgement-Free Zone

A judgment-free zone is essential for students to step outside their comfort zone. When students feel assured that their efforts will be met with constructive feedback rather than criticism, they are more likely to take creative risks. This sets the stage for a nurturing environment where each student's unique voice can resonate and flourish.

A Cheeky Quote said it best...

"Stop worrying about what everyone don't even like everyone"

The Power of Taking Creative Risks

Overcoming Fear of Failure

The journey of self-discovery often involves venturing beyond the familiar, embracing the unknown, and taking creative risks.

Any journey of self discovery is going to be filled with uncertainties, and the fear of failure can be a significant roadblock. However, it's crucial to reframe the concept of failure as an integral part of the learning process.

Mistakes are just an opportunity to learn. By encouraging students to view missteps as stepping stones to growth, teachers pave the way for a mindset shift, fostering resilience and perseverance.

Listen to These High School Slam Poets

In this video, High School Slam Poets Reflect on Their Experience in stepping out and taking a creative risk in front of the entire school

Listen to Elementary Slam Poets Reflect on Their Journey

Every student knows the power of words. They've all had people use words to hurt them, tear them down and bully them. They've also had people use words to build them up and inspire them. The Arts in Education show the value of the curriculum in their lives.

These success stories extend beyond the confines of the classroom, showcasing how the confidence gained through creative risk-taking becomes a valuable asset in facing real-world challenges.

The journey of self-discovery through creative risk-taking not only shapes confident individuals within the classroom but also equips them with invaluable skills for a lifetime.


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Rik Leaf is an Arts in Education Specialist. Performer, Producer, Slam Poet, Author

Would you believe a meme inspired my entire career. It said, "Be Who You Needed When You Were Younger"

And that's how I got here. 20 years into a career creating a safe and supportive space for students to step out of their comfort zone so they can experience the magic of finding their voice.

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