I get bored.
All my life, I've preferred to break new ground, to try new things. Except for food. I stick to the same food at every restaurant. But as far as career and general adult pursuits, I do not like to retread.
I am a bit of a rambling soul.
When I became a teacher, this restless spirit did not go away. But for the first three years of my classroom experience, I got to teach at least one new content area each year. Last year I got to teach three new areas and one old (totals up to six preps) and I loved it.
But this year, I had all old classes to teach. Without a moment's hesitation, my thoughts was "I can really play around with HOW I teach my content! Finally!"
Through a series of events well documented on this blog already, I got the chance to be completely innovative with my room and my delivery and my assessments.
I am so thankful I have had this chance. It has helped me see that my restless soul has just been a vehicle for innovation, and it could be for others. If you get restless, or bored easily, maybe you are an
Memories: nostalgia or reflection ?
I like nostalgia as much as the next person. I've even got a nostalgia playlist on my phone (lots of 90's and classic rock. A little Alabama and Garth Brooks. The Friends theme.). Nostalgia makes me smile, but it pulls me backwards.
When I look at my practices as a teacher, I recognize the good, but look for how it could be better. This year, I looked at the notes on my sports and media unit in sociology and thought- "Why am I not being active with a unit about activity?" So I hosted an Olympics to open discussion of how competition affects groups.
As teachers, we must reflect, which implies we look backward to move forward- not stay in the past.
Energized: Job completion or new challenge?
When I finish a job, I revel in it. I appreciate and enjoy that it's done. But when I start to think about a new project- I cannot stop thinking- and talking (ask my wife) about it. When I began the project that has become the CREATE classroom, it consumed my thoughts and discussions. And I never got tired. Innovators are energized by breaking new ground. Which leads to-
Ideas: borrow or create?
When I started teaching, I got material from several other teachers. Great material.
But it was not mine.
After just a few weeks, I was hungry to create. I wanted to find new ways to present the information that suited my voice and my students' needs. Even now, I must confess, when other teachers tell me I need to look at what other teachers are doing- it is not with a mind to steal their ideas, but to re-engineer or completely take a tangent.
I definitely need to learn from other teachers, but I rarely copy their recipe exactly. I have observed teachers do great lessons, but my take away was not the lesson, but the one little comment they or a student made. That inspires me.
I do not want to re-tread the ground well worn by my peers, but to blaze new trails that branch off paths of other pioneers.
That, my friends, is my mantra as a restless soul, an innovator.
You may use this mantra if you choose.
But it since you are an innovator, be restless. Get bored and find something different.
Blaze that new trail.
I teach Psychology, Sociology, World History Honors and Debate at College Station High School, as well as coach the debate team, sponsor the TED Ed Club, and I am the Lead Innovator for LEADS CSISD (A student leadership empowerment program for 5th-8th graders). I am an aspiring administrator.