An Innovative Mind

How have I been innovative this semester? Over the past 16 weeks I have not only changed thoughts about myself as a learner but also those thoughts I have developed about education. I will be the first one to admit that I am not a straight A student and I have to work very hard for the grades I do get, but after reading the material this week I don’t think it is me to blame. We are so conditioned to go from grade to grade trying to achieve the highest scores possible to beat our friends. Why do we feel the need to make learning a competition?  Parent’s are bad about this, they have to brag about what their children have done or what they are going to do which in turn stresses their kids out to the point of being horrified of getting a B! Does anyone remember in grade school when our report cards went home and we only received scores like; satisfactory and unsatisfactory? It wasn’t a “grade” but a way for students and parents to see what needed improvement and what a child’s strengths were in. That to me is better than an A.

“I focus not only on where I can improve, but where I am already strong, and I look to develop those strengths in myself and in others.” George Couros

This is what I want to start implementing in my personal and professional life. It is so important to remind students that we all have things that we need to work on but we need to also remember that we have great strengths that we should use to help others improve. I think this quote is what innovation looks like in learning. The willingness of someone to take what they have and use it to help others but also understanding that we don’t know everything and being accepting of help.

Unfortunately at 25 years old I still am trying to unlearn what makes me a good student and a good future teacher. It shouldn’t be about who got the best grades or who volunteered the most to make their resume look good, instead it should be the heart in someone that makes them desired. Just because someone has a perfect 4.0 GPA doesn’t mean they have heart or what it takes to sit with a student during recess or after school to help them understand and learn. By saying this I am not saying there are not people who are geniuses and don’t have hearts because those people do exist as well. What I am saying is that grades shouldn’t be the deciding factor in anything. What happened to looking at the willingness to learn new things?

“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.” Will Richardson Why not think this way? I learn more from children then I ever will learn from reading a textbook or listening to some long exhausting lecture. I think a good way to follow through with this is the way we communicate with our students. We have to establish respect right off the bat, but educators need to give respect as well. That is what I need to unlearn. My students will have such imaginations and I can’t be the reason it doesn’t exist for them anymore. I need to bring it out of them and encourage them to never lose that side of them. It is so rare and amazing that it would make them unique.

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