I am an innovator according to the above basic definition. I am a person who tries new things because they may improve a situation or solve a problem. However I think there is a whole lot more to it.
I would like to expand on what I think an innovator is. I believe it is more about being the best you can be at whatever you spend your time doing. Innovators tap into a need to excel and to be challenged. I love to learn and have been curious about everything for as long as I can remember. These are common threads found among teachers. Curiosity and the love of learning woven together creates the fabric of innovation. I believe another trait an innovator possesses is an innate ability to remain balanced in the face of struggle. It is the knowledge that some things must be explored before you can fully appreciate the end result. I also think that innovators are great planners. If you do not have a good framework there is nothing to hang off of. Sometimes we need to swing in the breeze a little knowing that we are anchored to the plan. Being open to change and trying new things is a hallmark of courage that most innovators do not even acknowledge. It usually takes someone else to point this out. Not necessarily because the innovator is modest but simply because they are completely absorbed in what they are doing. They don't notice because they find their endeavors invigorating and fun! Ok...that also includes frustrating, time consuming, stressful, scary and risky but mostly FUN! Change is not always welcomed by others so an innovator also has an extra amount of confidence in the ideas they are promoting. They believe it is worth the effort. They also have the patience to wait out the reluctant naysayers. The final and most important aspect of being an innovator is being a strong collaborator. Two heads are better than one. Yes! I love trying out new things (especially with my students) because the joy of discovery and success is much sweeter when shared!
I am a digital innovator who is thoroughly enjoying the journey and is looking forward to the amazing opportunities ahead for us all!
How do you define yourself in the area of innovation?
As a busy teacher,wife, mother and nana, I often have a list a mile long of all the things I would like to accomplish in a day. I have learned to pick a few things and then prioritize them in my mind. Which will cause the most amount of stress if I do NOT complete them? Will the uncompleted tasks linger and hang over my head? Will they fade away and not be addressed until much later or ever??? I realized a long time ago to consider these questions. The answers have helped me to find the sometimes elusive state of being called...balance. Not all the time but I am getting better at this.
I just spent a fabulous winter break showing my visiting family our Hawaii home. There are two more days until school starts back up. Work pressure is starting to build. There are so many things I imagined getting done over break. I find myself working hard to keep these last few days together productive. Today is an example of my favorite type of balance. We all went to a beautiful spot in Hilo for the afternoon. I spent time before and after completing some of my "few things". I created this class website and finalized an i-Movie about how we do group work in our class. Some lesson planning for our ELA block was completed and I created a letter for students families announcing the Computer Science Club I will be running. I cleaned out my work e-mail, did dishes, played with my grandsons, enjoyed good food with everyone and even tried to see Star Wars (which was sold out).
Now at midnight I am jotting down a few thoughts while thankfully acknowledging the fact that my alarm will NOT be set for the morning. As I reflect on what was accomplished today I am amazed. I managed to get a lot done! Tomorrow is another day and I have chosen my next "few things". I will complete more lesson prep for my wonderful students, increase my knowledge with amazing educators across the country through a Voxer Book Study (Uncommon Learning by Eric Sheninger. He even joins the conversation!) Most important will be to enjoy some more time with my parents, brother, daughter, sons and grandsons who are here from Alaska. Finding balance can be tricky but is very satisfying.
How do you prioritize your "few things"?
Here's to a New Year filled with balance!