Being a teacher, or a learner for that matter, in this world today, is all about being innovative. We have pretty much swayed with all of the traditional models of teaching. While back in the day the traditional model was all that was required for job skills, now-days, we have to learn how to create our own means of employment. We have to learn how to be creative in discover and exploration. One of the thing’s that I’ve really learned this semester, to be innovative, you have to do your research (with the vast array of knowledge available to us now), and be very pursuant and headstrong in accomplishing goals that you have set out for and created yourself.
Take for instance, our learning projects, you looked something up that might be fun to learn, but not really because you felt that this is something that you will continue to do (a thought at the time anyway) but is something that our teacher, as a learning guide, prompted us to do. Therefore, to get a good grade and meet our overall goals in life (becoming a teacher) we did it. This is what we have to do for our student’s as well. Set them up for their learning, but essentially, we are only giving them ideas and resources, and they set out to complete the work on their own.
How many careers can you think of that expect you to research, learn for yourself, use your creativity, and build upon it to meet the demands of the 21st Century? Pretty much all of them anymore.
So this semester, I have unlearned the boundaries of ordinary and traditional teaching roles, and relearned what it is to adapt new technologies and strategies to guide my students, instead of teaching them directly, we want student based learning. In Richardson’s “The Unlearning Curve“,”We need to unlearn the idea that we are the sole content experts in the classroom, because we can now connect our kids to people who know far more than we do about the material we’re teaching.We need to unlearn the premise that we know more than our kids, because in many cases, they can now be our teachers as well.We need to unlearn the idea that learning itself is an event. In this day and age, it is a continual process.”
From George Couros’ “The Mindset of an Innovator” he explains that; “I am an innovative educator and I will continue to ask “what is best for learners”3. With this empathetic approach, I will create and design learning experiences with that question as a starting point. I believe that my abilities, intelligence, and talents can be developed, leading to the creation of new and better ideas.”
So we can learn from this long standing educator, that innovation and thinking for our student’s sake, is starting with believing in yourself, and your open-mindedness abilities as an educator. I believe in this fully, to make sure what’s best for our learners, we have to continue to learn and teach ourselves as well.