Writers seek inspiration from all around them – and often find ideas in the most unexpected places. Recently, I met with a teacher who shared 4 simple, but powerful, ways to help writers find ideas: Imagination, Observation, Remembering, Wondering.
What if we use these techniques, not just for writing, but for how we inspire innovation in our schools? If we are seeking change, and working to build a positive culture, this 4-step framework could be a good place to start.
Imagine. Begin by imagining the ideal learning environment. Actually, before you do that – you may need to empty your brain of all preconceived notions of school, as Ira David Socol suggests in this thought-provoking article: Zero-Based Thinking in Education. Imagine every detail – what would the design of the building look like? how would the day be structured? what would students create and what problems could they solve?
Observe. In order to create the ideal learning environment, we need to observe learning in action. Observe children learning at all ages – and not just at school. Watch children playing at the park, creating a world in Minecraft, or watching YouTube tutorials. What do these experiences have in common? Where and when and how do we learn best? Become a researcher of learning, and use your observations to create a learning space that supports and embraces all types of learners.
Remember. If we don’t look back and reflect, we will never move forward. Take time to remember what’s important. Remember what you value – in both education and in life. Does the way you spend your time and energy each day reflect what you value? Also, remember what it’s like to be a student! Foster empathy for your learners by trying the Shadow a Student challenge – starting October 15-26.
Wonder. Wondering is more than asking questions. Wonder is also a sense of awe and admiration. Intentionally experience a sense of wonder each day – appreciate someone or something, marvel at the world around you. Admire the learners you support with a sense of wonder and always keep your mind open and curious to learn and grow with them.
Thank you David Evans for the inspiration!