Innovation in education to me is all about staff and students taking risks and receiving support from colleagues, administrators, parents, and the school board. I work in a school where innovation occurs on a daily basis, and it doesn't always involve technology. Staff are providing a variety of learning experiences within their classrooms- Friday projects and STEM, for example- and we are seeing great results from our students. Ultimately, when you take a risk, you are learning something. It most often is what to do but it might also be what not to do. I love it when teachers invite me into their classrooms to see their innovative ideas. The discussions afterward lead to exciting conversations. I often find ways for the teacher to share what they did or I share it for them, with their permission.
I try to model risk-taking and this morning was an example. I am participating in a book chat using Dave Burgess' book "Teach Like a Pirate". I started the chat dressed as a pirate. It's a blurry picture, but here it is. The teachers and I spoke about three questions (Why did you choose to join the book club? Have you incorporated any ideas from the book into the first two weeks of classes? How do you share your passions with your students?) and had them pair-share their responses. I have received some great responses from the participants who liked the chance to speak about the pirate mentality. I took a risk being in costume and providing a format for quality discussions to occur. I am hopeful that my modeling of risk-taking will be taken to heart by more of our teachers.