Be Innovative

Let ESL Answers help you be more innovative by inviting others into your world!  ESL Answers is about working towards a better solution by bringing a diverse group of ESL/ELL Teachers together to work on each other’s problems; providing various viewpoints, ideas and strategies to renew or change a current lesson or situation.

What does it mean to be ‘Innovative’?  

Innovative – to create a ‘new’ method, idea or product.

It can sound daunting, but we are innovative every day!  You don’t have to create something that no one else has ever done. It is as simple as coming up with something that YOU haven’t done yet! You can be innovative by just renewing or changing something for the better.

How to be ‘Innovative’!

10 Ways to Becoming More ‘Innovative’.

  • – Think to expand further. Look for ‘Big Picture’ connections between everything. It can help you cross over and think ‘outside the box.’ For example, the ‘simple’ topic of plants connects to life cycle, but also can expand to concepts like manufacturing, production, famine, seasons, climates, etc.
  • – Use information and ideas from everywhere. Learn about things outside of your comfort zone and experience. It helps build connections between disciplines as well as life lessons to pass on to students.
  • – Celebrate successes no matter how small! There are many important steps along the way to reaching an overarching goal. See Everybody Stop & Look.
  • – Focus on the goal and tie daily activities to that goal. Ask yourself, “How does this fit with my goal?” Rid things that do not directly match the goal. It will be time better spent doing something else.
  • – Collaborate with everyone!! You never know where you will gain insights. “Find answers not in what people say, but in what they don’t say.” I learned that from my mechanic and now apply it to my teaching.
  • – Get inside the heads of others by asking questions. Find out what students are thinking and the steps they use to get to the answers/ideas/conclusions they have. You will discover where their misunderstanding lies and see more clearly the steps to address them.
  • – Listen more; talk less

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    . This goes for working with students, parents and colleagues. True leaders and innovators are said to be amazing listeners.

  • – Keep your eyes and ears open to see and hear what is right in front of you. By watching what students do or say, you will gain insights into what they know, don’t know and what to do next.
  • – Focus on the person, not just the problem. After analyzing a child’s large packet of testing data, I met with his parent.  I began the meeting with, “So tell me about your son. What is he like to do? What is he good at?”  Focusing on personal strengths and likes as well as the problem can guide you to solutions.
  • – Use your own learning strategies to show students how to come up with ways to help them recall information. By sharing them with your students, they will become cognizant of their own strategies.

Where does your ‘Innovation’ lie?

When it comes to teaching students, metacognition and meta-cognitive strategies are what motivate me most. I love to know what students are thinking. I use this to figure out ways to help them correct/alter/connect their understanding and language usage. This is where my excitement and my innovation lie. Add your views/thoughts/ideas to the mix and help bring out the innovation in yourself and others by posting and staying connected with us!





FREE Innovative Lesson Ideas 

Information on this page created by Gelene Strecker-Sayer