When you hear the word innovator, what or who do you think of? Before researching this term, the things that I thought of were inventor, scientist, movie director, and Dr. Phil. I would have never guessed that after my research that I can be one as well! I always thought of it as being someone who has accomplished something great, or one who is making a big difference in the world. I never really thought of it as being something that everyone could do. Something cool about being an innovator is that it is something that you can always do better. This started to get me thinking about how this could correlate to being in education!
I am going into education simply because I want to help make a positive difference in children’s lives, and help give them tools to become successful in life. Becoming an innovator will really help with doing these things! George Couros wrote a blog post on becoming an innovator. It was really informational and included some great tips on what the journey of becoming an innovator should entail. Some of his tips included:
- Recognize obstacles
- Ask yourself, “What is possible?
- Build upon what you already know
- Embrace and be open to new learning
- Ask QUESTIONS
- Challenge ideas
- Take risks!
- Utilize tools available to you
- Listen and learn from different perspectives
Couros also said something else that really stood out to me which was, “Isolation is the enemy of education.” This really got me thinking about how true this really is, and how many teachers isolate their students every day. Being in a classroom for 8 hours a day would drain anyone’s energy and participation level. I mean really, who wants to do that? A couple of 15 minute recess breaks really isn’t enough in my opinion. Being an innovator as a teacher would mean to take your students outside, have them experience new things and the material that they are learning about first hand. It also means showing your students what it is like to be an innovator and how fantastic it can be.
Another person who helped show me how to become a successful innovator is Will Richardson. He posted a concept on the internet that was something that all teachers should look at and understand: The Steep Unlearning Curve: The Ten Things We Need to Unlearn. Many people usually are thinking about what they should be learning instead of what they should unlearn. I feel that both are of equal importance. Richardson said in his 21st century teaching post that, “We need to unlearn the idea that every student needs to learn the same content, when really what they need to learn is how to self-direct their own learning.” Student’s will not be with teachers and their guardians forever, so it is crucial that they start to develop learning strategies to help them become more independent learners! In my opinion, that is a major concept to understand if you ever want to become an innovative teacher/person.
I really enjoyed reading Richardson’s and Couros’s takes on becoming an innovator, you should check them out too! I have embedded the links below.