Dream the Impossible

One way to be innovative is to imagine the ultimate and then to think how it might come about.

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Innovation in teaching can only be seen as a positive thing if it brings about a positive outcome for all concerned. This cannot always be assumed.

One way to be innovative is to imagine the ultimate and then to think how it might come about. At this point in history we will be limited by various factors ranging from technology to where we are as people.

It is probably best to explain the concept with a few examples.

A young child starts his first day at school and it is a very unsettling emotional event for the child and it remains that way for a number of days. What would be the ideal situation for this individual? Assuming the mother’s presence is a reassurance to the child, how can the child be reassured when she has to leave?  Maybe when children have shown this type of behaviour earlier in life the school could have a program where a staff member becomes a family friend before the child attends the first day. This may involve visits to the home of increasing length to the point where the child is prepared to stay with the teacher for a number of hours without the mother present.

Alternatively the child might come to school wearing some technology whereby he can talk or just hear encouraging words from his mother when he becomes anxious. It could also show the mother the situation so she knows what to say to the child.

In a situation where a teacher is finding it difficult to keep up with all the technology they are expected to present to students, the ideal situation would be to have the experts come in to take the class. In the future maybe parts of a person’s thinking can be transferred to others so that the teacher and the students could have this knowledge transferred. Working our way down to what is achievable today the next level may be having a hologram take the class through the material? More achievable today would be video conferencing and maybe video lessons that come with the equipment. Unfortunately these are investments that companies have still not made so we come down to staff having industrial training. Still too expensive, then we have a number of staff present when the salesman delivers the equipment. If time was provided to reinforce the training, then maybe the process could stop there. Reality is unfortunately a large manual, but the possibility of student’s participation, to solve the problem.

Innovation needs to be beneficial to the mental and physical wellbeing of all involved or teachers will find themselves with another task in an already time poor career.

To create the rituals and routines working towards the ideal and implementing possible changes should be done in time frames that each teacher feels comfortable adopting.

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Photo of Elsa Fridman Randolph

Hi Anthony,

Welcome to The Teachers Guild and thank you for that insightful contribution! I think you raise a very good point about the importance of thoughtful innovation and the need to be very intentional about the desired outcomes and impact, rather than simply pursuing innovation for its own sake. Also loving the big what ifs you raise, that's what the divergent phase is all about!