Innovation and innovative teaching, like many other words that enter the educational realm, have become buzzwords. These words often get associated with the new technology tool that a school or teacher comes across. Technology in education is constantly changing, therefore, I want to remind you that innovation and innovative teaching can stand on its own without technology. Technology is a tool that can help support a strategy or activity. We must all remember it comes back to the goal and the instruction that takes place to meet that goal. At the core of these two items is a great teacher who can innovate regardless of resources.
“It comes back to the goal and the instruction that takes place to meet that goal. “
Innovative teachers will always find a way to reach their students regardless of what resources they have at their disposal. They are the ones that can take content that may seem dry to students and turn the lesson into magic. These are the lessons that students remember long after they have left our buildings. Innovative teachers are always thinking about how they can make the learning more exciting for each student. These teachers don’t concern themselves with what they have or don’t have. Excuses are not part of their vocabulary. Outside-the-box thinking is a characteristic of this type of teacher. Innovative teachers listen to their students and design learning experiences that they know will engage and make an impact on learning. This occurs through a strong foundation as it pertains to the instructional core. They know what goes into making a lesson successful for all of their students. Roadblocks are opportunities for a bigger success to these teachers. Innovative teachers constantly look for opportunities to make something good….something great. Innovative teachers practice the design loop on a consistent basis. This involves reflection, refinements, and often redesigning. Innovative teachers are never happy to just “get through” a lesson or material. Every day and every lesson is an opportunity to make an impact.
“Innovative teachers constantly look for opportunities to make something good….something great.”
As educators, we should aspire to be innovative in our own way. We cannot rely on a piece of technology to allow us to be innovative. We need to constantly look at each lesson and think, how can I make this awesome for my students? Start by asking your students what lessons they have really liked and ones that they would change. Involve your students in this process. We can begin innovating right now and we don’t need an iPad, Chromebook, or any other piece of technology to do so. How will you take an existing lesson, reflect on it, refine it, or completely redesign it with the goal of making it more innovative for your students? Be innovative with your instruction. Innovation starts with you, not a device!