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Is That What We Really Want?

For the past couple of weeks a word has been bouncing around my warped little mind trying to find some connections.


It’s popped up a lot in the year end reviews and profiles, of course, but the word is also one that’s been tossed around all year long in many, many different contexts.

Companies say they want to develop innovative products and services. They want to hire people who can innovate. We need innovative solutions to our problems.

But do schools really want innovative teachers? They’re the ones who don’t follow the scripts in their lessons. Parents call the principal because their child’s class doesn’t look like the one they remember from twenty years ago.

Do we want to foster innovative students? Learners who find a far different path to the “answers” (or even totally different solutions) than are shown in the teacher’s answer book?

While teachers of the year (and other educators singled out in the press) are often described as “innovative” in their methods, would most principals actually hire someone who looks for ways to do things differently?

Just some of the rambling thoughts that have been stuck in my head for a while. So far, however, I can’t seem to find many answers in there.

innovation, education

1 Comment

  1. Kelly Christopherson

    As an aministrator of a Canadian k12 school, I would definitely hire someone who was an innovator especially if it meant that students were going to experience things that were different because of the passions the teacher has that carries them along. The road might not always be smooth but it is a far more exciting and exhilerating one to travel, although not taken very often. Most administrators I know do not like waves. In fact they really like the status quo because it means less work and less stress. Some times, that is okay but, most often, it means that very little exciting is going on – and in schools that is dangerous. As for innovative students, that depends what you mean. Do you mean students who want to try things out of the ordinary, who want to look at things from a different perspective, who challenge the system on how they are to do things, then we can always work with them. If you mean someone who has no respect for people and aren’t willing to look for solutions to problems but just are mad for the sake of being mad – no, don’t want them. Would love to work with them but there must be some willingness to work within some type of guidelines. I like innovation and new ideas. I want to see us progress and advance past where were are as an education system. Personally, I want to teach things that are relevant to students and point out various ideas and concepts and then let them build the bridges. I want them to work – not always enjoying it but aware that working is part of the education process and no matter what you do or where you go, there is some sort of work to be done and some sort of learning that you will need to do. I want them to see that life stands still for no person, that you may get a moment of glory but, if you don’t, life can be just as rewarding and satisfying. I want them to experience life outside their comfort zone and challenge them to see events from other perspectives without losing themselves in those perspectives. That is why an innovative teacher is so great because they will look for ways to teach the student and also get the curriculum covered.

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