How do we maintain excellence while being innovative? This is a bit of a challenge because in order to be innovative you have to be willing to take a risk and there is a chance that excellency will not be reached.
What does it mean to be an innovative teacher? I believe it means to take risks and try new techniques in the classroom that could possibly result in students meeting their learning needs in an exciting manner. Innovation in education is according to the Innovation in Education website, “Being innovative is about looking beyond what we currently do well, identifying the great ideas of tomorrow and putting them into practice.” Really I see being innovative as staying with the times. It is easy to be left behind and this practice allows us to continue to reach all children and ensures we will continue to do with greatness as the times change. I see innovation as a must.
Although innovation is necessary we have to remember to make sure that our innovation falls within the standards. So our goal as teachers is to make sure that we can teach the standards with innovation.
We also must learn to balance innovation with others’ perspective of education. Some people might not welcome innovation and we must do it in a way that promotes education so that it will be accepted. Innovation is much different than the traditional way of teaching. You have to be willing to be innovative and accept and work at eliminating the resistance towards it. I know when I first started to teach, I took over a class for a veteran teacher and her style was much different than my own. We had conflicting views, as she was very traditional. I found it difficult to work around her, because she was very negative of what I was doing. Luckily, for standardized based assessments I was able to prove myself with my classroom scores. Innovation, although worth it, can be more difficult than just thinking outside the box.
I have been encouraged by Dave Burgess to be innovative and take the risk. He has a done a great job encouraging innovation in the classroom as the risks are worth the benefits. Fisher (2009) has a report that summarizes the positive effects innovation has on education. Innovation essentially has the ability to help increase educational gains in the classroom and is a risk I am willing to take.
Burgess, D. (2013). Teach Like A Pirate. San Diego: Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.
Fisher, W. (2009). Stimulating Excellence in Education. Stimulating Excellence in Education. Retrieved February 21, 2014, from http://www.rasch.org/rmt/rmt233c.htm
Innovation in Education. (n.d.). Innovation in Education. Retrieved February 21, 2014, from http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/support/Pages/innovatehere.aspx?Redirect=1