DISCOVER SKILL ONE: Associating
- Force new associations, like thinking about the connections of items that we would not normally combine, such as a microwave oven and a dishwasher, or a classroom bulletin board and a research paper.
- Build a curiosity box of items that are odd and interesting, and think about connections between those items.
- Use the SCAMPER model to think more deeply about something.
- Regularly ask "what caused", "what if", "why", and "why not" questions.
- Keep a question centered notebook, and ask your students to do the same.
- Set regular observation times to see exactly what is happening in your school and classroom at certain times of the day. Make notes on these observations and then apply your new questioning skills to probe more deeply about what is happening.
- Observe companies. What is going at at businesses that can inform and enlighten about what is happening at your school. This will also give you insights about your preparation of students for THEIR futures.
- Intentionally observe with all your senses. Perhaps your cafeteria looks great but there is an odor that you have become used to that you didn't recognize. Use all your senses to inform yourself about what is happening in your school or classroom.
- Expand the diversity of your network. This is especially useful for making the most of Twitter. Include educators from other Christian traditions, public school teachers, innovative thinkers, and business leaders in your network. In addition, network with some of these people in your own community.
- Start a creative community.
- Invite an outsider to join you for coffee then discuss and learn from them.
- Develop a new skill.
- Disassemble a product.
- Pilot a new idea every quarter or semester.
- Actively seek to identify trends of the world in reading, entertainment, religion, etc. and think deeply and reflectively about how these ideas caught hold and whether there is a response to these changes in education.
It is my hope and prayer that this list is helpful to educators and schools as they seek to be innovative leaders, better serving the children in our care.