High School English Teacher wins Opportunity to Bring Creativity to Classroom

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Reviewed by Mary McLaughlin, Ma-TESOL; M.S. SpEd

A New Hampshire English teacher has been given the opportunity to be more creative in the classroom. Heidi Pauer, an English teacher at Bow High School was recently named as the 2015 recipient for the Christa McAuliffe Sabbatical award.

The annual award was created by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to give teachers the opportunity to explore creative teaching methods within the classroom with the goal of enhancing teaching within the state of New Hampshire. It was established in 1986 to give exceptionally talented teachers a one year sabbatical to pursue their ideas for improving teaching methods within the school system.

According to Pauer, many of the schools in the state use old teaching methods that are outdated and lack creativity. “Research shows that creativity activates critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills,” she said. She believes that it is vital to teach creativity in schools to prepare students for the workforce of the 21st century.

Hilary DeAngelis of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation agrees with Pauer stating creativity is vital in every profession, not just those in the liberal arts. She goes on to cite that even engineers and medical researchers need to be creative.

Pauer has been an English teacher at Bow High School for 18 years and was named English Teacher of the Year by the New Hampshire Council of Teachers of English in 2003. She has taught a variety of creativity workshops in addition to her regular teaching duties. Pauer will now have the chance use her experience to work with educators across New Hampshire to establish methods which will cultivate creativity including assessments, lesson plans and exercises that can be implemented among every subject.

DeAngelis believes that Pauer’s coaching sessions and workshops will give students additional tools to be successful in any subject.