Congratulations for Truth

Have you read Verena Roberts post yet?  Did you congratulate her on receiving the iNACOL Innovative Practice award . You know she acknowledges it is because “of all of you out there who supported and helped facilitate open classroom projects over the last year!” And we know the award is also because she didn’t give up.

Her posts talks about the truth of those who innovate. They are the ones in that room, at the end of that hall, or “that educator in the corner.” Innovators get in the way; they are often “criticized, ignored, bullied, frustrated, felt like an evangelist and generally treated like someone who speaks another “education” language.”

They fail. Sometimes a lot. See Verena’s referenced post on failure, understand that innovators use failure as information (scroll down on Alfie Kohn’s post about failure to his thinking about Jerome Bruner’s research).

I don’t write about the negative criticism, being ignored, bullied, feeling frustrated. It saps energy from the projects my students and I work on.

But it’s there, and is a truth that does need to be examined.

And it’s the reason innovators find other ways and other people to support their endeavors. Twitter, Moocs, and Google Plus participants find the support and positive critiques that energize more innovation.

So next Friday, on #FF be sure to recommend your PLN to thank them for the encouragement they provide you!

And thanks, Verena, for #ceet-open and your encouragement. Congratulations on a well-earned and deserved award!

 

Image: Flickr CC by findntake

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  2 comments for “Congratulations for Truth

  1. Verena Roberts
    November 3, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Thank you in so many ways Sheri. You’re right – we all don’t talk about the negatives of being an innovator. It’s probably because we don’t have the time to waste on negative energy – we are too busy coming up with a new idea, revisiting what went wrong with our last idea – and listening to learners who participated to figure out alternative perspectives….

    I thought a lot about if I should post the “truth” about being an Innovator. As we, as educators, are encouraged to promote iInnovation” with our students – I think we need to really try it ourselves. In fact that goes for anything “new” like – inquiry based learning, competencies, collaboration, student-directed learning – Try it yourself first! Why? Lots of reasons – but I think number one is because I didn’t learn that way. I’m hoping that every mistake I make, every time I get frustrated and hurt….that it makes it that much easier for someone else! That’s what learning and being an educator is all about? So I encourage you to tell us how you may struggle as well as an innovator – but at the same time, tell us about all the amazing learning as a result of your struggles.

    Learning isn’t easy 🙂

    Verena 🙂

    • November 3, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement, Verena. I’ll be struggling this year and on as so much has been added to our educator plates. We have the main course of teaching so students learn, which now includes both student and teacher standards. And as teachers, we know we need to add in the appetizers, the hooks and books that entice our learners to try. And we cook up some dessert, the sweet stuff of celebration for all we have accomplished. Now we must prove our educator standards and teach to a test that many do not see as relevant any more. So, yes. I’ll be writing about the struggles to juggle all of this while always maintaining the focus on building relationships while guiding student learning in personalized ways. And I’ll be looking to the creative innovators like you to guide me in smarter ways to do this. Thanks so much!

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