As school leaders, one of the greatest responsibilities we have is to nurture learning environments where students are fully engaged. Moving out of the traditional mindset of learning to a more innovative approach is critical to the active engagement of students. I believe firmly that Innovation Builds Engagement. When educators design learning opportunities that are out of the box, creative, and innovative, student engagement rises. When students know that their work and contribution makes a true difference in society and the world, they have ownership and greater pride in their work.
Buildings Hands to Touch Lives – Schools across the world are building prosthetic hands for kids who can’t afford the cost of a prosthetic. “Enabling the Future” helps schools to give a helping hand to students who need a prosthetic. http://enablingthefuture.org
Virginia Student Builds Prosthetic Hand for His Brother – This video shows how a school in Virginia built a prosthetic hand for a student. The school came together to make a difference in the life of a young boy.
Genius Hour – Give time for students to think of genius ideas on how they can make our world a better place and strengthen their own learning. Darren Elwein, the Principal of Harrisburg Middle School, provides his students with a Genius Hour. Mr. Ellwein believes that investing and scheduling time for students to be creators is important when working to inspiring them to greatness.
Check out these strategies to build innovation in your building:
Go Global – Encourage your teachers and students to consider how to solve real life problems throughout the world. Learn what other schools are doing and be intentional at examining schools in other parts of the world.
Go Crazy! – Foster an environment where your teachers and students can try something crazy, fun, exciting, invigorating, and adventurous. When we allow our staff and students to play and experiment, a curious mindset is created and growth takes place. Model this spirit of risk taking, having fun, and an adventurous spirit.
Go Team! – Nurture a sense of teamwork and collaboration in all facets of your school. Team communication, team building, and team work are critical components to becoming an innovative school.
Go West! – Back in the age of the Gold Rush, going west meant embarking on a new frontier that came with the hope of a better life. Challenge your staff and students to learn, work, and live with the same fresh and trailblazing spirit when it comes to learning. Let’s learn in a way that the world longs for, one that engages students in meaningful, relevant, and life changing work.
Check out this video to see how lives are changed when we bring learning to life for students: Click Here to View Video
Please share with me how you are innovating with your staff and students. I’d like to feature your work in a future blog post. Email me at email@example.com or message me on Twitter at @drbillziegler