One of the things that I have always been frustrated with is my inability to express the passion I have for innovation in education. I can remember the first time my eyes were opened to new educational ideas while taking my Master’s Degree and taking a course by Alex Couros. I felt way beyond my comfort level but knew that I was getting into something that was very exciting and would benefit my staff and our students greatly.
When I first started my coursework for my Master’s Degree, I knew it would be hard and would take a lot of work, but I also thought it was going to be a bit dry. Boy, was I wrong! I was not prepared for my degree experience to totally change my outlook on education and what should be happening in classrooms.
At that time, I was so excited about the new things I was learning and decided to come back to my staff with my passionate message, only to have it fall flat and after our first staff meeting, I thought they would have thrown tomatoes at me if they had any.
One of our teachers though was immediately interested and agreed to help me, by working together on a class blog. letting her grade 5 students write about things they were interested in and giving them a broader audience for their writing.
Starting with one teacher sparked interest with other teachers and since that first staff meeting 8 years ago our school has made much progress in what I consider to be innovative teaching ideas and stretching to meet the needs of our students by being innovative with our classrooms design and instruction.
Yesterday I was out of the school at a meeting and had left a learning activity for my grade 6 students. We have just started The Global Read Aloud this week and are reading the book, “The Wild Robot.” I had left them an activity where they were discussing their ideas about robots-what they already knew, researching some ideas and adding to their knowledge. All the while they were recording their thinking using Padlet. Using Padlet allowed them see what the other students were thinking and I could also see their responses while I was at my meeting, which was an added bonus.
Now I could have easily had them working by themselves researching and recording their answers in their notebooks, but the richness of being a part of a collaborative think tank was a benefit to my students.
To get back to my original problem, which was how do I help others feel the passions I have and how do I continue to work towards innovative teaching and learning for all students? Part of what I have seen through the continued growth in our school since the “tomato throwing” incident and our very first blog has been amazing.
I guess I have already answered my own question; keep pushing, encouraging, learning, talking, praising, reflecting and spreading the word.
Progress may seem slow but perhaps it is not as slow as I think.
Hmmm! I am off to an administrators meeting today and I am in charge of welcoming and running the agenda. Seems like the perfect opportunity to spread the word!