Innovate One Thing

Teachers work extremely hard and the job can be thankless some days.  Seemingly, more and more is being placed on teachers and educators, where they have moved from full “plates” but to full “platters”.

So why do I focus on “innovation” so much in education? Doesn’t this become just another “thing”?

The reality of our world is that we all have 24 hours in the day, but how you use our time is important.  How do we get the most out of it?  Innovation is not about doing “more”, but about doing things “better”.  Time, like money, is a currency, but I believe it to be more valuable. The more we get out of our time the better.

Here is an example…

Kids write in a journal to improve literacy. What I have seen many students do is that they will write into their paper journal, and teachers will take 20 to 25 of those notebooks home to write to each student. But when you look at this formula, who is becoming the most literate? The ratio favors the growth of literacy in the teacher over the student.

But what if you had the students write in a blogging platform and instead of the teacher commenting to every student, you have students comment on five other student’s blog posts? Instead of writing once, they will write a minimum of six times, but probably more, as many would want to respond to the comments they receive.  Yes, as a teacher, there will be some set up to make this happen, but long term, would you not save time and actually have students write more than what they were before?

Maybe this example is not relevant to you or your situation, or maybe you don’t have the access to make this happen to the point that would be beneficial to your students.  Innovation is not about someone else finding the answers for you, but about looking at your own context and finding your own solutions to move forward. Hence the reason I believe innovation is all about mindset, not skill set.

I challenge you (and myself), to look at just one thing that you are doing, ask “is there a better way?”, find that way, and see how it goes. Let that one thing, lead to another thing.

Don’t add time, just try to think different.  It takes some time to get there, but long term, the investment will pay off.

Source: George Couros