The flight…..of Innovation

Last Friday I met with a group of teachers from our school to brainstorm ideas about our upcoming Innovation Days next fall.  It was remarkable not just for the creative input but as a model of collaboration.  It made me think that this is the way PD should work.  Although I had specific questions and I did take notes, the afternoon was filled with flying ideas without the “weight” of egos.  It was really inspiring. I am reminded of General McCrystal’s new book, Team of Teams  -a small team, of course in this case a very diverse creative team, is capable of tremendous power.  I was inspired and humbled by the input of these teachers across the broad spectrum of our curriculum.  Of course we had the computer teacher and the IT person-very, very knowledgable but we also had the drama teacher, 3 english teachers, a history teacher, a yoga teacher and counselor. (our science teacher and football coach missed this first meeting but they are on board as well)  Yes, I did pick these people because I knew they would be open to the idea of innovation but I could not have predicted these results.  We met at my home, outside of the building with plenty treats and laughter.  It was a way to change the restrictions of “our old building”, psychologically as well as physically.  It was definitely the best “meeting” of the year. We worked on how the structure of the afternoon would work, how to focus the questions students generate and what problem solving strategies to offer.  I am so grateful for my team.  Administrators, please don’t just “allow” time for collaboration.  Respect it, value it and provide an environment to help it flourish.  I think this is the only way we can be prepared to “bite the future”.  As a team.

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