California Educator

December 2015

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Page 21 of 63

Thinkers and doers making a mark in education I nnovation is a popular buzzword in education these days, but what exactly is an innovative educator? Is it someone who would rather blaze a new trail than follow a beaten path? Someone who is willing to take risks and even fail? Or, as the cliché says, someone who thinks outside the box? Yes to all of the above. But innovators also identify trends of the future and incorporate them into present practice. ey are curious and questioning. ey are driven by a commitment to excellence and constant improvement, not to satisfy others, but to satisfy themselves. Innovators, as you will see in the group below, embrace project-based learning and the four C's — critical thinking, creativ- ity, communication and collaboration. ey are passionate about what they do, connect with students' ideas and interests, approach challenges as opportunities needing creative solutions, and see everything as a teachable moment. And they definitely put a memorable "ding" in the lives of their students. " I want to put a ding in the universe." S T E V E J O B S By SHERRY POSNICK-GOODWIN Photography by SCOTT BUSCHMAN Inspired Dreamers 20 THE ISSUE INNOVATION

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