The number one thing that I have done in my classroom that is innovative, is to switch to flipping my class. When I started flipping, no one in my district had heard of it. Doing something that no one else was doing, for the good of the student, is innovation. I have lead many different professional development lessons on the topic within my district, and now outside after attending #edcampPGH this weekend, trying to persuade teachers to try it. Give it a chance. I have had fellow colleagues tell me that I flip because I am lazy and don't want to do anything with the kids, and I flip, because I don't want to plan for my classes, and I flip...the list goes on. I was bored, and was actually starting to look outside of the educational setting to find something else to do when I happened onto flipping. One week later, I assigned my first flipped lesson, and the rest is history.
This weekend, I attended my first #edcamp at Baldwin High School outside of Pittsburgh, PA. I drug my husband, who also is a math teacher, along with me, since we were going to Pittsburgh anyway to see our son sing in his last choral performance. I wanted to attend to learn, to see innovation, to network with like minded teachers. I ended co-leading a session on flipping the class. I got to share my excitement about flipping with other people that were interested. My husband enjoyed the sessions he attended to, even though he wasn't planning on participating.
As for my colleagues at my district, I am slowly getting other people in other curriculums flipping, and they are encouraging others too. It's an exciting movement!
The innovation continues because now that I am fully flipped, and have been for almost 3 years, I now find/design activities that allow my students to explore/learn a topic in a different way. I have started to flip mastery one of my courses as well.
As I told a person in a a session this past weekend, if you stop learning, or if you feel that you have completely figured out the teaching profession, leave. Get out of it. One should never stop learning in our profession. Students today will so much different than students 5 years from now. There are jobs that don't exist now, that will exist in 5 years. We have to stay fresh, in order to keeps students excited about learning.