Creating a Positive Culture for Innovation

For many of us the year either has started or is about to start. Those first few weeks are the most important in establishing positive culture in our classrooms. In my school we’re moving to 1:1 iPads, so creating a risk-taking culture where students know the boundaries but aren’t afraid to make mistakes is so important.

#satchatoc had a meaningful discussion about establishing a culture of innovation in schools. Building this culture of innovation and creativity is essential to bring schools and students into the present and get them ready to lead in the future.

This idea of creating a culture where students and educators alike utilize technology to problem-solve and create a better world is an ongoing theme in education.

How do we encourage creativity and innovation in the classroom? Creation tools like iMovie, Educreation, Explain Everything, Thinglink, blogging, and Book Creator can help.

So, how do we get people to this place of innovation?

As educators we are always working to better ourselves, trying to learn so that we can share our ideas with our students. By being connected, we open a whole world (literally) of information and people to learn from. This chat is a perfect example as it is called #satchatoc; is based in Oceania yet draws an international crowd.

Modeling multiple solutions to questions as well as big ideas is huge! If we as the model in schools can get this and show our students that often problems do not have just one answer, it makes it okay for them to take risks, grow, and seek multiple answers to questions.

Moral of the story: what we do week one with our teachers and our students to create a positive culture where taking risks becomes the norm will determine how our year goes.

How are you starting your year?

You are as Great as the Cause you Serve and as Young as Your Dreams

As educators in the year 2014, we constantly hear and read about this growth mindset. It is so much embedded in our culture. This video has been passed around the internet and highlights Shimon Peres, at what some might believe is the end of his career at the age of ninety-one. Contrary though, he is job hunting in the video. It shows the skills he has learned throughout his life and how they have prepared him for potential jobs: gas station attendant, skydiving coach, cow milker, and stand-up comedian.

I was happily surprised last week to hear this video and the idea of us always being in progress as the topic of my rabbi’s sermon. But what can we as educators get from this? At this time of the year, religiously I reflect on my life. How can I be a better person? How can I be better spiritually?

I am constantly doing the same as an educator. I have been meeting with my staff to help them set goals for the year to help each of the grow professionally and determine their focus for the year.

As I sat in services last week, my rabbi challenged each of us: are you done or in progress? To me it sounded like the work of Carol Dweck in MindSet; it just goes to show how much overlap there is in our worlds.

Being in progress isn’t just for us as educators but us as human beings.

So in the words of Shimon Peres, former President and Prime Minister of Israel, “You are as great as the cause that you serve and as young as your dreams.”

Are we done or are we always in progress?

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