Change : Teachers are Innovators of Learning

Ts Innovators


I have been engaged in a great deal of reading, thinking and discourse about change in our classrooms, schools, districts. Although ideas from three books  pushed my thinking : Coherence ( Fullan ), Switch (Chip and Dan Heath) and Innovators Mindset (George Couros), it was Innovators Mindset that made the greatest impact.  “Change isn’t something you do to someone else, it’s something you experience. So my current thinking is “I can begin to change me. I can make change in my classroom. I can show my students that I can take risks and solve problems just like I ‘m asking them to to do. I ,the teacher, can innovate. I can make the environment of my classroom better and different, I can make my instruction better and different and  I can make what my students learn better and different! Whenever teachers do that for their students , they are INNOVATING LEARNING, creating change.

Everything I just said is true of our work with our colleagues. When we collaborate with a common goal we are innovating the learning process. I am feeling that way with the new group of colleagues I have found through the Mount Holyoke Teacher Leadership program. I feel that when I take what I learn from my PLN on Twitter and use it to change my practice I am, through collaboration, “innovating ” the learning process because I take what I learn and use it to make something new, something better and different .

When I think about this looking through an NGSS lens, I think of the first piece of instruction I created for 4th graders around “energy” This piece was built about two years ago, piloted, multiple times and it is still being changed as my learning gets deeper. I want it to be an awesome piece that I and others can use to make science engaging meaningful, relevant  for ALL students.

What I have described wont all happen at once and not every person will join in excitedly, but if you start small, taking baby steps, change will begin to happen. I think about Hansel and Gretel and the leaving of breadcrumbs , creating a path to follow. People will find begin to find their way.

Lets celebrate summer by figuring out how we are going to be innovators of learning !


4 thoughts on “Change : Teachers are Innovators of Learning

  1. Hi Kathy!
    Gillian here from #sunchatbloggers
    This post really resonates with me–not only because I am fascinated with educational change and professional growth BUT because I’m just polishing off my teaching plans for a graduate course on this topic starting next month! So thank you for the references for new reading material. What do you think of the working metaphor I plan to use for the course: Professional development as collaborative inquiry. No metaphor is perfect, but it seems to connect to some of the big themes you mention above–and that I also appreciate and value. Thank you!

    1. I think that your metaphor works well. As teachers we need to be always thinking , questioning , “is what I’m planning going to move student learning forward?, How will this change affect our learning community? ” These questions and many others are very difficult to answer in isolation. Collaboration helps us better articulate our thinking because it allows for our thinking to be questioned , probed. Through collaboration we can build on each other’s thinking.

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