Being a Teacher is Hard

...but let's innovate!

Today was a good day..

Teaching is hard. When a colleague asks me how my day went in the staff room around 2:30, my response is usually something similar to my favorite Ice Cube meme, "Pretty good, no one threw up or cried today."

But how long, can we as teachers, use that as an excuse? Teaching is hard. But so are a lot of other jobs and somehow, people still manage to be innovative.


Innovation is important. If it didn't exist, you might still be carrying around that sweet flip phone or listening to your jam on a Walkman.

Without innovation, the world stands still. Without innovation, your classroom stands still, frozen in time. How many of us are still using the same worksheets we used 10 years ago or still doing the same oral presentation accompanied by the project, that let's face it, was created by a parent at 2AM the night before it was due?

We are teaching a generation of students that will go out and be innovators. How can I expect a child to go out and change the world if I am not willing to change the way I teach? We cannot teach the same way we taught 10 years ago or sometimes even the way we taught last week.

What do we do?

We must stop using the excuse that "teaching is hard." As George Couros says, "Often the biggest barrier to innovation is our own way of thinking."

Teachers are innovators. We just have to realize that teaching is just like any other difficult job, you must learn and change at a constant rate. That lesson you created 3 years ago may not be doing the job anymore.

Here is the challenge to teachers. Start with one thing, every day. Or just one thing every week. What is one lesson you could improve or one worksheet you could abandon for something better? Try something new and share it with others! Spread the innovator's mindset.

And give yourself permission to fail. In the words of Elon Musk, "If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough,"

By Meghan Cannon-Johann