How to innovate and create with the resources we have

The Innovator’s Mindset
Reflections on Chapter 2
On innovation within constraints. 
I am a freelance teacher and my students are business people, lawyers, writers, students, teachers, designers, writers. My students and I share the vision that we are committed to living a better life for ourselves, for the people we love and care and for the communities we are part of. We are convinced that we can do it through learning together.
It’s a been quite a long process. But here we are, helping each other like real members of this small learning community. I am by their side to support them and guide them through their learning.
It really took time, effort and patience to develop trust, compassion, empathy, confidence and though I still usually fail, I am so convinced that this is the best we can do NOW given the resources we have and what my students are willing to do, give and create. 
Basically, my constraints have to do with my students’ busy lives and the time they are willing to take to do work out of the class. 
The fact that we meet just once a week to study a foreign language is an important limitation, and yet I feel we can do enough.
In the past I used to aim high, maybe too high, and it simply didn’t work or it worked at times. 
I offered them resources which I created to go through in between our classes, which took me hours to create, and the effort was not worth it, most of my students simply didn’t accept that challenge. 
Some of them however, are eager to go through the resources, so I choose them carefully and keep them really short. Videos no longer than 5 minutes, or reading material which might take between 5 to 10 minutes. Because after watching or reading, there’s an assignment or mission (this is how we call them) they have to create. 
The critical question given this context is: 

“What can we do to maximise learning in the time we have?” 

And the best answer I found so far is understanding the input cannot take half our class time, because what I really want to focus on is what they get from the input that will make a changing impact on my students. 
I ask my students for an opinion on the material and often the first answer is either “I fully agree with it” or “I don’t agree with this”. I’ve noticed that given the second answer usually means we need to go through the resources in more detail. Sometimes, students think they understand but actually they might misunderstand a part. This is why “Do you understand?” is just an useless question. Also, admittedly, my students are questioners, I cannot complain as I push them in that direction. We are working on questioning vs being an opponent. (Is this the right word?, MMMM) 
I have been thinking that challenges and constraints might be the reason why we keep searching for innovation to solve problems.
Besides, I live in a country that goes from one economic, social and political crisis into a period of certain stability, just to get into a bigger crisis.  And the cycle starts again.
As a freelancer I am forced to innovate or I get expelled from my business. There’s simply no way to survive in such a turmoil if we are not offering a “high quality service”. 
On dilemmas when our mission on teaching and learning are challenged

This chapter kept me thinking about critical questions I need to address in my work. One of them is:

How do we address the challenge of staying in business and being loyal to our mission when some students are searching for a different approach to learning English?

I have been teaching for over 25 year, I had faced a few dilemmas through all these years. However the most difficult challenge I face is letting go of a student. 
The story behind letting of a student
I reflected and documented most of our work through years, and maybe because we were mixing work with friendship, there came a moment when she was really aggressive and cruel in class. Most of time I managed to cope with love. Most of the time! 
Though she complained often, there were moments when she expressed so much gratitude for  how our classes had changed the way she perceived the world, how English had helped her connect with different people especially when she travelled. 
We worked together for a long time, but one day I felt I had to let her go and move forward. In a certain way, I was feeling she didn’t have the courage to quit, I felt she was asking me to take that hard decision. 
Letting go is never easy and teaching is all about sharing from the heart and soul, at least for me. Maybe, I was brave when I told her I couldn’t teach her anymore. I felt brave and sad. Relieved and thankful for the good moments we shared. 
Please don’t think I am being arrogant, teaching is my passion and my work. I have to pay the bills, like everybody. This is why keep questioning: 

How do we address the challenge of staying in business and being loyal to our mission when some students are searching for a different approach to learning English?

With lots of love and gratitude,