Quote: "My parents were always supportive" (Wagner, 2015, pg. 104). I feel this is the key to creating innovators. One of the going themes throughout this book is that parents are the key to creating innovators which is something I see with my students who are usually the ones that love to discover and create.
Question: If parents are the key how can we as teachers take on that role when the parents are not available to create innovators?
Aha: Based on this chapter and many others there is also the common theme of teachers allowing students to be creative in order for them to think about real world problems and solve wicked hard issues. The question is how can we do this when we are asked to teach a certain way?
Connection: One of the teachers at out school is the type of teacher who uses real world problems to teach math and many people around our school are asked to visit his classroom to observe what he does and try to learn from him.
Quote: "Knowledge is also essential in order to innovate" (Wagner, 2015, pg. 104). Finally, I like how the author recognizes that we need a foundation of information to be able to have a baseline and move from there.
Question: How can we put curiosity back into the student if they have been asked not to think?
Aha: Respect. I love how Scott Rosenberg discussed how his students were his business partners and they deserve respect. I feel this is how I teach and I hope that in some way I have created in my classroom a sense of freedom of innovation that they will use in their future endeavors.
Connection: One teacher mentions in this chapter that students yearn to have their voices heard and a sense of identity. I can see this with my students, the moment you give them a voice they rise up to the occasion and create things that I as an adult could not imagine. Those are the moments I feel I'm the student and they are the teacher and I enjoy that because its rewarding to see young people teach you.
Quote: "what parenting practices do contribute to the development of young people capable of being both?" (Wagner, 2015, pg. 203)
Question: How can we as teachers change the pattern of behavior in our students of how they see eduction when we are the product of the same education?
Aha: Wagner (2015) when interviewing Annamarie Neal mentioned that "We have to suspend judgements about how things are suppose to be if we're going to develop the capabilities of children to be innovators as adults" (pg. 205). Which I believe is the key to creating innovators as teachers but how can we do that when so many people are against that? Should I move schools or can I disrupt the system from this particular school I work with when data and testing are so important here.
Connection: I knew I had amazing parents but after reading this chapter it was confirmed. I remember how my parents never really told me "no" when I was growing up. I remember my mom allowing me to use her nail polish to paint my toys cars or her acetone to remove the paint as many times as I wanted. I remember being allowed to discover what I wanted as long as I was respectful. I also remember being able to dress myself however I wanted. One of the keys in creating an innovator is to set boundaries but within those boundaries allow students to discover, change and adapt.
Quote: "The best design thinkers don't simply work alongside other disciplines; many of them have significant experience in more than one" (Wagner, 2015, pg. 13) I find this a interesting quote because I agree with the author, the people who are the best at thinking outside the box are the people who don't fit into a box.
Question: How can we influence a change in the way administrators think about creativity? At this point in time in education if you can't quantify it than is not worth our time. If these new millennial generation need a different type of culture to create change, why is it that in other countries they follow our example and are still succeeding at innovation?
Aha Moment: Finally, I feel the author is getting into the essence of his book. The five characteristics of "design thinkers"
Quote: "very different from most middle-class parents with children enrolled in elite institutions I'd encountered, Kirk's parents supported and unconventional" (Wagner, 2015, pg. 36) Once again I am finding this author completely outside the mainstream of the american education system or maybe I am. As i read this book the author brings up an example of a student who went to a private academy and than left early to go to Stanford, as an innovator. Well maybe the student is an innovator or maybe he won the birth lottery and had the opportunity to take risks. As I read the chapter I wonder if the author has ever stepped into public school in the United States. So far I can't find too much in this book that I could use in my school.
Question: Based on this case study, how does this work when discussing students who do not have the advantages of this person, where parents can move across the country to provide them the best opportunities? Additionally, is this even sustainable when many of our children are below the poverty level? Are we just discussing the elite?
Aha moment: The process and collaboration of between individuals is what leads to people becoming innovators.
Connection: Students need time to use their creativity and have their choice. One of the connecting themes throughout this course is the ability for kids and grown ups to "play". But this is the first thing that is leaving our classroom due to the need for "results".
Quote: "For both, the opportunity to collaborate and built real products with others was the most exciting and motivating part of their education" (Wagner, 2015, pg. 69).
Question: From reading these first three chapters it seems the main reason why these individuals became innovators was due to their parents. So how can we as teachers create innovators if the key is with the parents?
Aha moment: Our school has an end of the year trip for the 8th grade students and this is where they get to know me as a person an I get to know them a bit better outside the school environment. While reading this chapter one thing that struck me is that the greatest teachers that I've ever had made a connection with me, they treated me with respect but also allowed me to get to connect with them as people. This is what motivated me to want to learn more from them because I knew I was learning from people who had their best interest for me.
Connection: One thing that has struck me about all these innovators is that they are multidisciplinary and that they want to make an impact. I used to work in my earlier years as a stock broker for a large firm and I remember thinking I wasn't making an impact where I worked. I left a hefty salary to work with inner city kids who had just left juvenile hall. I don't regret the decision one bit because I found my calling but what I do see in many of my colleagues in teaching is that they have never experienced what it is to work in a company and I know this is a valuable experience because it taught me what it took to be part of a company and work with individuals who had more power than you or who had different needs and goals. Education is you haven't experienced the real corporate world can seem fake and built on a cloud of hope.
Wagner, T., & Compton, R. (2015). Creating innovators: The making of young people who will change the world. New York, NY: Scribner.