Within past generations, innovation within education was often frowned upon. Students were expected to speak, act, and learn in the same ways. Education was about rote learning and memorization. Creativity and fun were frowned upon and projects were all about product, not the process.
Recently, research has shown us that the things that were frowned upon previously in education, are now not only used, but encouraged! Without innovators who stepped away from the traditional methods of teaching to try new approaches, we wouldn’t be where we are. Although the old-fashioned means of education weren’t necessarily bad, the innovated way that we teach now allows us to think of new ways to help our students learn and become the most successful they can be. This often times requires us unlearning before we can become being innovative teachers for our students.
While I have found myself learning a multitude of new things this semester, I’ve also found myself unlearning as well. I’ve unlearned my apprehension to using social media in the classroom and my hesitation to try out new types of technology, among others. As Richardson clearly pointed out, there are many things that we as future educators need to learn before we are able to become effective in the classroom.
Even though I’ve worked this semester to become an innovator and unlearn necessary habits, I still have lots of progress to make! For example, I need to do more self-reflection on how I can be the best educator, mentor, etc. to my students that I can possibly be. After the readings this week, I was enlightened to the fact that there is much I still need to learn about innovation and unlearn about education.
Change can be scary, but it can also be amazing. I think that many educators balk at the idea of being innovators and introducing creativity, fun, and technology into the classroom because of the fact that change is scary. However, as the times change, we must change too. Our students today grew up with readily available technology at their fingertips. They are comfortable with it, and expect it. I have strong intentions of using social media such as blogs, Canva, Podcasts, etc. into my classroom to help my students get a hands on experience with their learning. Like Couros said, “I question thinking, challenge ideas, and do not accept ‘this is the way we have always done it’ as an acceptable answer for our students or myself.” I want to be the teacher that is constantly learning about new methods and tools that I can use to help my classroom. I want to be there for my students and help them become the best learners they can be. I want to be an innovative teacher.