“Let them try their innovative ideas, you never know it might just work, and be the next big thing.”

innovationI am in my last semester of graduate school. I will receive my MEd in Curriculum & Instruction from Texas A&M Commerce in December of this year. I have learned and gained so much as I have matriculated through my core courses.

I’m excited to share some of the reflections that I have completed. One of my favorite courses was Leadership and Supervision in Schools; I took this course in the Fall of 2017. Here is a reflection from a topic that we covered:

“Let them try their innovative ideas, you never know it might just work, and be the next big thing.” The one great aspect about working at a charter school was that we had the freedom to be as creative and innovative with the curriculum as we desired if students mastered the concept and data reflected this. This opened the door to creative expression in teaching and learning, honestly, it made me fall in love deeper with teaching middle school science; my passion for the subject trickled down to my students. Learning became fun and engaging again. My students caught on to concepts quickly and retained the information for later units. I always believed for this reason our school had so much potential if everyone could get on one accord and do learning/teaching differently. This had the greatest impact on our campus; students had something to be excited and interested in, and they had something to look forward to in some of their classes. For example, most of my middle-grade students had never seen or heard of a dissection before; they were introduced to dissecting through a unit on organ systems and functions; we dissected a frog and made a rap about the organ system once we were finished, the students loved this and in return had an 85% passing rate on their unit assessment. I could hear them mumbling the rap to remember the levels of organization in an organism. This became an escape and outlet for them to express themselves.

A plan to promote this idea would be to host mini-engagement workshops during department meetings. This allows each teacher to share their knowledge on an engagement strategy or creative strategy they used in the classroom, how it worked for them, and how it can work for others. Teachers can share this information by either making a short video demonstrating this technique or create a mini resource to hand out. There would also need to be goal or timeline set in place to test the strategy and students’ responsiveness to it; this is a process and would take time and patience to ensure overall success.

Published by Andrea Pickens and Associates, LLC

Greetings: My name is Andrea S. Pickens; I have several years of experience in education and youth development all of which include teaching and leading youth in under-resourced and economically disadvantaged communities. I believe that it is critical to the academic and over success of our youth to have proper academic and social-emotional support. This support is often found in schools and after-school programs that intervene by providing tutoring/enrichment services and are equipped with effective teachers and leaders. My belief is that each child can learn, but not all children learn the same; diversity and equity is crucial to youth development. It is my mission as an educator, entrepreneur, and servant-leader to equip and empower others in youth development and education to reach our youth beyond the secondary classroom. Yours in Education, Andrea S. Pickens, M.Ed

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