Are we sometimes our own worst enemy?
While on Twitter this morning checking out the latest chats and tweets, I came across a great cartoon posted by Lisa Duty that sums up exactly how innovation can be perceived by others. Although the cartoon below made me chuckle straight away, there is an unfortunate truth to it. Firstly, the person who is speaking in the cartoon is no doubt a boss, manager, or supervisor and he is speaking to a subordinate. This subordinate obviously has a great idea, something new and innovative that he would like to try out. The boss recognizes that it may be innovative but squashes any chance of this idea being put into action. Have you ever experienced anything like this in the work you do?
The second angle I'd like you to consider and the main point of this blog post is to get you to think about to what extent you represent both people in the picture. As an educator, we teach in certain ways and have created a number of routines that dictate how we deliver our lessons, units, and assessment. However, can we be our own worst enemy at times? Is there a voice sometimes within us that shoots down our potential to create positive change in our teaching practice? Do we sometimes come across innovative and creative ideas that sound amazing to us, but have a default setting that pops up and says, "Although this idea sounds great and I love it, it's just not possible for me and my teaching?".
I choose to believe that all educators have only the greatest of intentions for their students. They want to create the very best learning experiences and environment for their students in order to help them succeed. I get all this. However, I still think that we can be our own worst enemy at times and stifle our own potential to become even better at what we do.
The purpose of this blog post is to make you think about the little voice inside of your head and assess the quality of comments it makes to you when you strive to better your practice. If it's ever saying things that prevent you from keeping your mind open and receptive to new and innovative ideas in education, you need to stomp all over it. Squash it and don't allow it to speak. Doing so will ensure that you not only remain open to these innovative ideas, but try them out more and more in your teaching. Any thoughts? Comment below! Thanks.
KAUST Faculty, Pedagogical Coach. Presenter & Workshop Leader.IB Educator. #RunYourLife podcast host.