Innovators do not settle for or accept failure. Innovators are resourceful and demanding. In our world of education today educators must be innovative, because whatever it is that has been done in the past is not acceptable. That statement is not meant to be offensive in anyway, to those who are reading; however, it is meant to be the mindset of an innovative educator. We, the future and current educators of the world are expected and required to advance the students in the classroom in all aspects of learning. We do not settle for average. If we are average educators our students will be average. If our students are average the future of our society will be average. It is our duty to take every possible positive step forward with our students.
I myself have been innovative this semester as a learner. If you have read any of my blogs on my independent learning project (ILP) you have seen that I have attempted to find ways to advance in my learning of ASL. At first I tried to find ways to do this on my own, but I found after a few short weeks that I had hit a dead-end. I could not find any other resources that I had already used to further my learning in ASL. So, by being an innovator, I reached out to other innovators who may have had some ideas for me. I reached out to those who may have had no background in the topic of sign language, but I also reached out to those who may have. I reached out to anybody who was willing to help me. George Couros stated in his article, “The Mindset of an Innovator“, “I build upon what I already know, but I do not limit myself to myself.” I did as he said- I did not limit myself to myself. I reached out to others to help guide and advance me in my learn of ASL. However, because of this, I had to unlearn something.
What I had to unlearn to reach out to others was that my independent learning project was not completely independent. From the start of my ILP I told myself that I was going to get through it by myself because, after all, it was an independent project. Yes, I did do the project solo, but not without the help of others. When I reached out to those who read my articles I received some feedback from them in my comments and through personal messages. I was given ways to continue my learning in sign language, and that could not have been done without innovating and unlearning. In Will Richardson’s article, “The Unlearning Curve”, he gives 10 things that we must unlearn. One of these 10 things is “We need to unlearn our fear of putting ourselves and our students “out there” for we’ve proven we can do it in safe, relevant and effective ways.” This is precisely what I did. I unlearned the fear of asking for help. Many people are too stubborn to ask for help, and many people have he fear of showing a weakness by asking for help. I chose to unlearn that fear and I asked for help, because I realized that I needed it to continue in my learning.
My innovativeness and my unlearning crossed paths this semester, and I am glad to say that they did.