Thursday, September 28, 2017

Innovation or Bust #IMMOOC

I have been participating in #IMMOOC, as I am rereading a fabulous book by George Curous called "The Innovator's Mindset."  It has caused me to do a great deal of reflecting.

Looking back on my 13 years in education, both as a teacher and as a principal, I would call myself a creative educator.  I tried new things that were different from what everyone else was doing.  I was willing to do almost anything to engage students in learning.  I made it a priority to have my students create, not just consume.  I developed experiences to create memorable learning opportunities for students.  I engaged families in the process.  Innovative was not the word I would have used to describe myself.  

Acccording to Merriam-Webster, innovation is:

Definition of innovation

:the introduction of something new

2:a new idea, method, or device :novelty

Looking back in hindsight, I believe I was, and am an innovator in the field of education.  I am continuing to learn, continuing to change, continuing to revise ideas to meet the needs of students and families and to help our students rise to the occasion in ways the future world is going to need them to.  Do I have it all figured out, no.  Am I willing to ask questions, dig deeper, experiment, explore, and learn?  You better believe it!

I know that I have been viewed by some as a person who needs to slow down and not interrupt the status quo.  Others may have believed that I raised the bar to a place that wasn't necessary.  However, I perserered and continue to push on because I believe there is always more I can do to make this world a better place, to make my students better prepared for the future, to engage our community in the learning process, and to be continually learning myself.  

In a time when the world is changing at the speed of light, technology is doing things we only dreamt of in movies, and kids' access to information is vastly different from what it has been, we must change.  We must innovate.  If we choose to remain stagnant, to be afraid to try something different, to be afraid to fail,  or to view the changes in the world around us, our students will suffer.  Our kids need to be ready for what is to come and it is our job to help prepare them to think in a way that will make that happen.  We need to prepare leaders and learners who will persevere through problems, who will ask hard questions or questions that haven't been asked before, who will know how to investigate their personal passions independently, who will be able to work hard and use that hard work to make something in the world better.  

I'm only just touching the surface from my learning, experimenting, and brainstorming of what innovation can look like in a classroom, school, or community.  However, my ideas, combined with your ideas, combined with the ideas of educators next door, across the country, and across the globe can change a system that has been resistant to innovation for years.  Together, we can change the experiences and the opportunities our students are give.  Together, we can include our students in creating learning that is meaningful and engaging to them.  Together.  Together we will learn.  Together we will grow.  Together we will fail and get back up.  Together is the path forward to innovation.   Are you ready to join the movement?    


  1. Hi Amy, I love your energy and enthusiasm! I'm also very excited about this #IMMOOC experience. As a music teacher and fellow Penn Stater (did our paths cross? class of '02) I look forward to following your blog to collaborate and connect over the next few weeks!

    1. Sorry...Just seeing this now. I graduated in 05, so we were probably there one year at the same time!

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