Domain 1: Planning and Preparation, Domain 2: Classroom Environment, Personal Learning

Just Like That: Innovation Became Our Stabilizer

I was in another conversation yesterday about what school will look like for our children this fall.  That conversation wove its way in and around many topics before it led to the always-asked question, “ So, what grade do you teach?”  My answer gave way to pause and laughter as I answered it incorrectly! Ha!  You heard me… I answered that very question the same way I have answered it for over 20 years with, “3rd-grade!” And just like that, I took pause and said, “Well, I have been in that grade for a very long time, but not right now actually!”  Yep, just like that, I went on to explain that my career path had changed to being a cyber teacher for the upcoming school year. The beautiful part was being able to share the WHY behind it… because that is what our children need right now.  

Simply Stated

It really is that simple. This is what our children need right now. Our children need an opportunity to choose where and how they will learn this fall and my district chose to create a program that would meet those needs. That is called change, not the “new normal,” but quite simply… change!  In my humble opinion, this is the kind of change a community should rally behind! 

My family lives in this very community. 

I work in this community.

I believe in this community!

I want my sons to be grateful for the options they have been afforded and enter their senior and freshman year with an ambitious attitude, along with the mindset that their year will be a success for each of them.  Our own children will be embracing another option that our district is providing, which is the hybrid program, where they will actually go to brick-and-mortar on scheduled days with the offset being remote learning.  Why?  Because it is what meets their needs at this time, just as the cyber program will meet the needs of many other students.  

Goal-Setting Jackpot

What I know now, but didn’t at the time was that my internal goal-setting ways helped me to hit the jackpot and obtain what I needed to be able to embrace the new journey ahead of me.  It wasn’t quick and overnight-like, but with hard work, an open mindset, and determination, I was able to prepare for what is needed for our children today.  I earned my Apple certification last year, my Google certification this summer, in addition to the Special Education certification that I worked on 25+years ago, along with many other countless professional development milestones!  What I didn’t know then, that is staring me in the face now, is that it was a ripple effect of growth for myself and those around me!  Knowing that I am capable of embracing this change definitely has an impact on my own confidence and drive to step forward.  It wasn’t just about knowing that our children need this program, but it was about knowing that I am equipped to step forward and make an impact where it is needed. A need for disruption! New opportunity!

I think exnovation is very relevant and necessary when creative destruction or the need to disrupt is required – seriously challenging the existing practices to spot new opportunities.

Chuck Frey

Just Like That

Something that leaves me in awe is how I have thrived in an innovative space, what I would consider as an “exnovation” or a “best-standardized practice of learning” for our children. I have embraced technology, personalized learning, along with a mindset that sees many more approaches such as Community-Based Learning (CBL) and Project-Based Learning (PBL).  As much as I would create the opportunity for each colleague, student, and parent to see value in these practices and embrace these innovative ways of learning, it wasn’t until the Covid19 Pandemic when it became an actual “need”, a true must-have for learning, that this mindset was embraced.  Just like that, the pursuit of innovation became our stabilizer!

Wow, I restate that last sentence over and over again in my head as I type. Just like that, the pursuit of innovation became our stabilizer! This leaves me with one thought… the kind that I ask myself and now I ask you: What can you do today to prepare for the change that tomorrow will bring? Just like that, it will be here! 

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