Accidentally innovative?

So people who know me understand that I get bored easily. I’m one of those people who has a hard time sitting still. As a child I was constantly being told to quit tapping, bouncing or jiggling. And if I am sitting still my mind is probably racing on into next week. 

Apparently a trait that I considered to be negative is actually a really good thing! My boredom with doing things over and over the same way again and again has helped me be innovative and I didn’t even know it. I created new units and new ways of delivering material. I chuckle as I think about being accidentally innovative. Can that even REALLY happen? I can tell you with the utmost certainty that yes it can – sort of.

Sometimes I think I overwhelm myself. I hear about new things and feel guilty that I’m not doing them. Yet, on the other hand I am doing many new things – they may just not be the latest buzzword of the day. 

What I have now realized is that what I was doing was little like being lost in the wilderness doing whatever I could to make sense of things. I did some innovative things, but at a great expense of energy and without the results I hoped for. Mostly because I always stayed inside my comfort zone only going so far.

I feel that now I understand better that innovation is not just doing a new thing, it is a change of mindset. I am more purposeful and focused now on true innovation which includes bettering myself through networking and reflection resulting in a richer and better experience for myself and my students. I have taken the time to network more using Twitter as my best new PD learning tool with access to so many gifted and inspiring educators. I have also taken much more time to reflect. Writing this blog is one way I do that, but daily reflection about what is working and not working in my class has long been part of my practice. My more purposeful focus has most recently lead me to take risks that I would not have been comfortable with not so long ago. This semester my class and I are part of a Global Project (#ClimateActionP) where the students do much of the leading and I am learning to let go more than I have before. I also have been developing a Mental Wellness unit and I am using the idea of the “audience effect” and having the students research and do the teaching. Both these projects have me stepping out of my comfort zone as a teacher, but they both also have my interests totally piqued! 

Well, being accidentally innovative has been good for me because it lead me to purposeful, focused and definitely exciting true innovation. 

6 responses to “Accidentally innovative?”

  1. “I am more purposeful and focused now on true innovation which includes bettering myself through networking and reflection resulting in a richer and better experience for myself and my students.”
    This is fantastic! I really love how you show your growth within this one blog post. You accidentally being innovative was a fantastic realization and then turning this into more purposeful and focused innovation is so amazing. You should be proud! Keep it up 🙂

  2. I love the idea of being “accidentally innovative” – I think progressive educators can all relate to this to a certain degree. I too get bored easily and want to find new/creative ways to engage students in learning. My biggest push is for my students to learn their own stengths and needs, so that they can reflect on their learning, fogure out how to meet their own needs and look to themselves for validation – not to me.

  3. It may have been unintentional on your part to be innovative, but now that you know this, continue to push forward with as much intention as possible! Inspire on!

  4. I hear you! I don’t like to eat the same thing for lunch two days in a row. I’ve had colleagues tell me “Let’s not try and change EVERYTHING this year…” but its just how I operate. Focus and training has helped hone that trait into a skill that really moves the needle on innovation in my classroom.

  5. I love how you reflected on your shift in thinking – changing your mindset so that you are purposeful in trying new things. Innovation is also baby steps – making changes one at a time, which in turn result in doing what’s best for students.

Leave a Reply to ChasityCancel reply

Create a website or blog at