Innovation: Necessary or Hype?


Innovation has become such a buzz word today. What does it truly mean? Do we need it in schools? By definition it is a new method, idea, or product. Do we always need NEW in schools? If what we’re doing is working, is that okay? I challenge us as a profession to dig deep. Is everything we’re doing working?

In some ways, certainly. We build great relationships with students. That works. We know this. This is the basis for everything and should be where it starts. No innovation needed here!

Sometimes though, classrooms look like the picture above. Do these promote the skills that today’s students need to go into the workplace TODAY and TOMORROW? Probably not. Innovate & change.

Here we can see students learning skills that they need for today’s world. They are collaborating and communicating with one another. The classroom is organized so that they can do just that. The teacher is working with students helping them be engaged in the learning. Students are learning by being immersed in it rather than passive recipients. Simple innovations that allow students to learn the skills of today rather than yesterday.

DC blog

Innovation. Change what we teach. This has become a controversial topic in our profession. Computers. Phones. Internet. These can all automate so much of the content that we used to need to keep in our brains. Don’t get me wrong, we still need to teach it. However, problem solving, collaborating, team work, critical thinking, organization curiosity, and LOVE of learning are possibly more important. These are not skills that can be automated. Shifting our priorities a bit can have a huge impact!

The quote above from David Culberhouse demonstrates how quickly the world is changing and has changed. We the educators can equip ourselves first to prepare our students. The time is now. Innovation and change are banging on our doors.

Are we ready?

Let’s make them excited about school. Let’s make every child run into school. Let’s make it so that teachers can build relationships and meet those students’ needs so that they cannot wait for each day to come.

It is possible. This should be our goal in INNOVATION.



  1. “Shifting our priorities” is a good way to describe innovation to show sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big impact.

    • Thanks for reading, Brittany! You’re so right. By shifting priorities and working with the little things, it can often make it easier for teachers to have a big impact. We’re often so overwhelmed in this profession that we need an entry point.

  2. Your title called my attention right away. It’s important to reflect on the words we are using. We want to go beyond clichés and really discuss what we’re doing in education. And the quote is also fantastic. I love that you bring in LOVE of learning to the equation. I’m totally with you there!

    • Cristiana-
      Thanks soooo much for reading! I agree that cliches and catch phrases don’t get us far. We need to talk about the issues and go deep!! And let’s be real….if our students love to learn, then we’ve done something. We’ve created a life-long learner.

  3. buzzingwiththequeen says:

    I loved your title – it got me here! It’s my goal for my classroom to be a “noisy organized chaos” each day. If it is, then I feel like I know I’m doing something right!

    • Thanks so much! If I think to my classroom, noisy organized chaos probably describes it. Please stop back and share more stories about how it’s going. I love to hear updates!!!

  4. I agree that we need to innovate to create the environment and teach the soft and hard skills kids will need in the future. I also agree innovation has become a buzz word and in a lot of cases what we see isn’t truly innovation w/ tech just replacing a worksheet w/ a googledoc. It’s sometimes harder to innovate when things are going well — I am at a school where we rank in the top 5 schools out of over 100 in assessment scores…but we could be truly putting kids on a complete different path rather than doing the usual and nailing the tests.

    • Andrew- Such great point! Sometimes it’s so difficult to change mindsets when test scores are our sole basis of how we’re doing. I love to ask myself: Do the students love to learn? Will they know this forever or simply for the test? Would they learn in spite of me or am I adding value? It’s hard to be reflective sometimes for sure! Some of our students come ready and compliant! I definitely want those students I’m around to be inspired and ready to change the world rather than the compliant worker bees. 🙂

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