Greetings. Today is "National Teacher's Day" here in the U.S. and a chance to pause and honor a group of people who don't always get the credit they deserve.
Teachers. People who play a vital role in the learning and eventual success of our nation's children. People who also play a vital role in unlocking the passion and potential in every student at a time when our system seems so preoccupied with testing as opposed to nurturing a love of learning and growth. Which leaves even the best teachers with a difficult balancing act.
Recognizing this, I had the privilege last week to lead a seminar on innovation for high school teachers in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. It was a chance to gain their insights and share ideas about how to bring out the real genius in kids. It is genius that I believe comes quite naturally to all kids with the right guidance and encouragement from teachers who care. And in the course of the session I shared seven things teachers can do to continually spark innovation and possibilities…
1. BE CURIOUS and encourage students to be curious.
2. ASK BIG QUESTIONS and encourage students to ask big questions.
3. VIEW LEARNING AS AN EXPLORATION of ideas and perspectives and encourage students to view themselves as explorers with their eyes wide open.
4. PUT THINGS TOGETHER THAT DON'T BELONG and challenge students to create unexpected combinations.
5. CAST A WIDER NET in search of insight and possibilities and challenge students to spin the globe in their quest for knowledge and understanding.
6. BELIEVE THAT THERE IS ALWAYS MORE THAN ONE ANSWER to any problem worth solving and encourage students to never be satisfied with their first answer.
7. DEMONSTRATE PASSION and help every student to find their passion as the basis for learning any subject.
Seven simple ideas for making innovation part of the lifeblood of our schools. And for making sure that learning and growth are the real results of education. Seven things that great teachers seem to do quite naturally.
Which begs the question:
Is there a more important role in our society than teaching?
It's hard for me to imagine one.
We win in business and in life when we appreciate the powerful role that teachers can play in the lives of our kids and our communities. And when we work together to unlock the genius in every single child.