What Does Innovation Mean to Me?

This post is in response to the question posed for The Innovator’s Mindset book study that is occurring this month. It is yet another step in my learning as this blog post is part of a “blog hop” and I would like to thank Tina Zita for opening me up to this opportunity!

What Does Innovation Mean to Me?

Being innovative means granting oneself permission.

Give yourself permission to take risks. Give yourself permission to go beyond your comfort zone and challenge your actions but most importantly challenge they way that you always do things. This may cause some discomfort and may lead to some missteps but remember learning is messy! Think back to the events in your life where you took away the greatest lessons. I would bet there was an element of risk involved!

Give yourself permission to fail. Yes, I said fail. Taking risks is required for innovation, but like in life there are no guarantees. For many educators who are accountable tn so many ways, not being successful with all learning opportunities would seem foolhardy if not irresponsible! I would suggest that trying something new alongside your tried and true best practices will yield much more learning than you have ever experienced.Innovative educators try new things without a guaranteed outcome. The risks that they take are worth the potential powerful learning outcomes of their students.

Give yourself permission to go for it! There will never be a better time than right now. Your ducks will never be in a row. The reports and meetings will never go away and your personal obligations will never go away. Waiting for a better time to delve in, to learn how to incorporate technology into your classroom, or learning how shift the learning culture from that of a teacher centred classroom to a student centred classroom will never happen. There will never be a better time than right now to try innovative ideas. And if we are really being truthful with ourselves is it really fair to the learners we have right now to wait any longer?

Give yourself permission to take time to reflect. It is only in reflecting on our past that we can move forward. With the hectic schedules that we have, taking time to just stop and reflect seems to be something that is more often than not viewed as a luxury rather than as a part of our learning.  Upon reflection we can direct our energies and our reflections can be catalysts for amazing opportunities!

Give yourself permission to release yourself from the expectation that you need to know it all, for everyone, all of the time. Today’s immediate access to information releases educators from that responsibility. Now we are free to look at the bigger ideas and innovate to connect to deeper learning. Give yourself permission to admit that although you are an educator you don’t have all the answers all of the time! Connect with other educators who are doing innovative things in their practice. Connect with experts and bring their skills into your classroom. Become the learner alongside the other learners and model the curiosity that will lead to innovation we want our students to demonstrate.

Being innovative is an unique experience for all involved but it cannot occur without having the freedom to try new things, to practice resiliency in the face of challenges and to model curiosity and reflection. Give yourself the permission to be the learner you want to see in your students!