The Tools of my Toolbox (2 of 2)

This is part 2 of the tools of my toolbox. ‘It’s not about the tools but the toolbox’. This was a statement Dave Rogers posed on his blog last week. It is quite tricky as every teacher has different views on what they need to be successful and to help their everyday lives. Here are my remaining tools of the trade:

  • Thinking Outside the Box

Being innovative and brave within a classroom can bring enjoyment, success and respect. I admit not every idea I have tried has worked but those that do can enhance the student’s experience of your subject. Trialling new ideas improve your lessons and enjoyment as a teacher. It is not always easy trying out new ideas. It is very easy to stay in the comfort zone but without trying out new ideas we do not develop ourselves as teachers and will not improve. Idris Mootee, of  the innovation playground blog,  has said, ‘innovation is hard, it is not about getting the ideas at all, it is about managing ideas. So you have a few great ideas, so what? The future is never about the future but now.’

  • Reflecting

As teachers we must be more reflective of our own practice and make amendments where we need to. We must utilise our strengths and work on our areas of development. Observations are vitally important to watch other teachers and how students learn. This would be ideally done within the Department and with other Departments once a term where possible. This should therefore improve our own teaching and benefit the students .Working with other colleagues will help develop cross curricular opportunities to raise achievement throughout the school. I always try evaluate my lessons on a daily basis – you should be aware if you have taught a good lesson or not – and more importantly how could it be improved.

  • Teaching is Fun

As teachers we work long hours and spend many lessons preparing and planning work. We have the aim of teaching the National Curriculum and working with our students on achieving their personal best and gaining the grades they deserve. But…we must enjoy our working life. There are many pressures in the education industry and targets to achieve. Teaching in my opinion is the greatest role in life that someone can do. To actually see the look of wonder and understanding on someone’s face is something that cannot be bought. To pass on knowledge and see where it takes a young person in life is amazing. To actually help young people in life choose a path in the life with your encouragement and guidance is breathtaking. There is much to enjoy from teaching, just don’t forget the positives!

  • The Mighty Board Marker

Where would any teacher be without a board marker? Sometimes this little tool can be forgotten with the overkill of Powerpoint. Remember, simple ideas can make learning easy.

innovation playground

A blog I have been recently reading courtesy of my brothers’ insistence is Idris Mootee’s innovation playground. Idris is a business strategist and business specialist who blogs about his thoughts and feelings regarding business, innovation and emerging technologies. He is the founder of Idea Couture, winner of the innovative company of the year award. 

Idris Mootee is an authority in strategic innovation, a system and design thinker, Idris partners with clients in all sectors globally to identify their highest-value innovation opportunities, address their most critical challenges, explore strategic options and develop breakthrough ideas.

Idris is a huge fan of thinking outside of the box and using your imagination to move forward or solve problems. It is a very thought-provoking, interesting and humorous read regardless of your education/business background. Idris has several ideas that can be transferable to a school or department. I particular love his use of quotes in his blogs (how does he know so many?!?).  He is very forward thinking who is always trying to stay one step ahead of the crowd…which perhaps is why he is very successful at what he does. I recommend reading innovation playground…it’s the future. It has many links to education and how we teach young people using his ideas from the world of business, a major part is enjoying yourself and having fun. If we gave a five-year old a cardboard box, a pen and a ruler and told them to design a hotel, they would. But if we gave the same scenario to an adult, they would come up with problems. This is a process that happens as a person gets older and we seem to put up barriers. We must become more innovative in education and look outside the box occasionally.

If Idris would ever like to catch up for a coffee to discuss the future of schools and education I would be more than happy!