Welcome to #RockNTheBoat! This blog is not about boating, though I’m not against boating. Boating is fun. It’s not about rockin’ either, though I am partial to the rock music genre, Christian and secular. However, this blog is about changing the status quo in our classrooms and engaging and empowering students through the use of creativity and technology. Unleash your own creativity, passion for your subject, and your love of learning to inspire your students to do the same. It’s not as scary as it sounds, and don’t worry, I’m right here to guide you and hold your hand, figuratively speaking, of course. I’m not likely to actually hold your hand, since I don’t really know you. I will, however, encourage you to hang on to your hat and maybe grab a life jacket until you are ready to rock your very own boat.
I recently wrote an article for the ISTE Teacher Education Network with a focus on mindfulness. May is mental health month, and that fits so well for us educators. This is a CRAZY time of year to work in school districts. But as the school year begins to wind down for many across the nation, and even though the end of the year business is in full swing, now is the time we can try new things, dip our toes into teaching those soft skills or new technology, and continue building relationships with students.
This is a mindset that I employ every day. Placing limits on anything, whether it’s yourself or your tech tool, is a great way to stifle creativity and growth. I make it a habit to approach everything with the idea that innovation is only a thought or two away. Tools or ideas don’t have to be new to be innovative, we just need to rethink how we use them.
It takes a certain kind of person to be innovative. Having the passion and conviction to follow through, to take the risk despite the critics and road blocks, is tough. The old saying, If it were easy, everybody would be doing it, still holds true today. It isn’t easy to hear over and over again that you are doing it wrong. It won’t work. You are making a mistake. The fact is though, if we never break from the status quo to try something out of the norm, we are left with sameness and miss out on amazingness.
As a my friend and preacher reminded me recently, to have compassion, you need to SEE & ACT. It isn’t enough to just see the problem and then form committees, look for curriculum, and hold meetings. We must see AND act. A curriculum, no matter how good, will not reach those students who are in desperate need of some hope.