The innovator teacher’s dilemma

Are you tired of listening or reading about how innovative teachers must be in the classroom? Especially now, during and after the covid-19 (years 2020 – 2021) when we were forced to reinvent ourselves and our classroom?

Why are you tired of it? Maybe because it is tiring to be always looking for different ways of calling student’s attention or to, at least, make them be more participative and acquire something out of it?

Is this really the point? Or is it the experience? The learning?

Well, we are teachers. We must be the ones that bring innovation and creativity into the classroom, be it in activities or in ideas or concepts, since our students are the future, and they will always be. Creativity and innovation belong everywhere and to all ages. It triggers the artistic side of the brain, driving it to create or make wonderful things. Things that will make you, the students, their parents, their future professors, and superiors very proud.

In each piece of innovation, you can see and find feelings, such as, happiness, anxieties and fears, maybe sadness, and, for sure, the will to change something that is no longer working properly.

This is the innovation in the classroom. Bringing these feelings together, working on them, and developing the students’ abilities to create, inspire, to lead. It is also to provide them with the tools to be ingenious when the world asks them to be. When new ages and generations come once again, they will be the ones that will have to change something that is supposed to be renovated or reinvented, and they won’t be afraid of it.

We know that something is not entirely new, everything is a copy of something else with improvements. When we read ‘Methods and Approaches in Language Teaching’ by Jack C. Richards and Theodore S. Rodgers (2010), we discover that there are many different approaches to language teaching and there are also combinations of what worked best. Of course, some methods were used and reused over time.

Thus, when we talk about innovation and creation in the classroom, the following dilemma appears: Do I look for ideas and methods that are completely new? Or Can I reuse an approach, with refinements, that will, for sure, make more sense to me and to my student’s learning and growth?

Do you know who has the answer to this dilemma? Only you! Check how your students are learning, what is working and what is not, and how their improvement is going. Use your classroom to gather information and to make the best of it! And then you can share it with our teaching community!

Next month, I will write about my innovative experience in my lessons, and I hope that it will help you as well.

References:

Anthony, D. (2017) The little black book of innovation. HBR.

Christensen, C. (1997) The Innovator’s dilemma. HBS.

Shulman, R. (2018) 10 Ways Educators Can Make Classrooms More Innovative. FORBES. Can be found on https://www.forbes.com/sites/robynshulman/2018/11/19/10-ways-educators-can-make-classrooms-more-innovative/?sh=2767ffff7f87

Beatriz Solino de Francisco

Beatriz holds the Cambridge Train the Trainer and the DELTA Mods II and III(Teaching Exam Lessons). She has a Licentiate’s degree in English Language from PUC SP (2007). CPE level of proficiency and she has been teaching for 15 years. She is an Academic and Pedagogic Coordinator. She is currently doing a Company Management MBA at FGV.

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