Sunday, March 4, 2018

#IMMOOC4 Week 1: Innovation in Education

I'm veering off my usual blog style today ... I joined round #4 of the #IMMOOC book study. Interested? You can still join! (website) [I am a little late with week 1's blog post ... better late than never!]

Here goes!

EMPOWER (by: John Spencer & AJ Juliani)
Week 1: AJ & John ask us to consider what students are “DOING” during our 400 daily available minutes. Why do we need to begin by considering the expenditure of time?

Time is and always has been very precious and it's the one thing that we will never get more of, no matter what we do. As a teacher, we need to remember that our students are only with us for a set amount of time and then they move on so we HAVE TO MAKE IT COUNT. I taught 7th & 8th grade Social Studies and I only had each class for 42 minutes. Bells rang to start and stop class and I HAD to make those 42 minutes mean something to my students. I also was very aware that my students had 6, maybe 7 other classes, extra-curriculars, and home responsibilities. The "competition" with time inspired me ... it pushed me to become more efficient, but also trimmed the "fat".

My little pie wedge of time was extremely precious to me. I wanted my students to know that I wanted the best for them, so I gave them the best of me.
AJ & John ask us to invest a large part of our day “to inspire creativity and innovation.” Describe one thing you are doing to make this a daily priority.
I am not in the classroom anymore - I am fortunate enough to be a Technology 
Integration Specialist in the same district I taught in for 14 years.

I 💖 my job.
I 💖 the people I work with.
I 💖 the way I am challenged.
I 💖 the opportunities I have every day at work.

A large part of the way I hope to inspire creativity and innovation is by having conversations with teachers. I travel between two elementary buildings so I am able to see numerous activities and classrooms. I have been invited in to so many of them. I have worked very hard to establish relationships with the teachers. I am able to share ideas and perspectives. I am also able to share my knowledge and skills with the teachers and students. 
Everyday I have a conversation where a teacher has an idea/question ... and we work through what they think they want and what they really want and how to make it happen. Sometimes the outcome surprises us both!


  1. Sarah -
    I love your mindset related to time... It's "Hell week" at our school as the musical open Friday, there are multiple field trips, and the Rube Goldberg competition... The kids are pulled in so many directions that's it's easy to make that stressful rather than empowering for them ---and for us! All these pieces of the pie are what make education so important - your energy is inspirational!

    1. Thank you, Theresa! It's nice to think that I actually got all 42 minutes with each and every class ... but the reality is we deal with SO many more things than just academics. And while I don't love all the extra, it's our reality! We always laugh & joke about "normal" weeks where we don't have interruptions. Oh wait, does that ever happen? :)