A Recipe for Success: Turning Your Teaching Ideas into Innovative Classroom Resources

A Recipe for Success: Turning Your Teaching Ideas into Innovative Classroom Resources

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

That is one of my all-time favorite quotes. Theodore Roosevelt (T.R. for those of you who love nicknames like me!) said those words a long time ago, but they still ring true today.

Every time I’m feeling defeated because someone else is more successful, more in shape, more “together” than I am, I remind myself that life isn’t a competition with others… My life is measured by my successes, my growth, my evolution.

Do you ever feel bummed out because you have a fabulous new idea, but then you realize it’s not totally “unique”? You find out another teacher somewhere has “been there, done that” already and you decide not to even bother sharing what you made with anyone else, afraid that your idea wasn’t original enough to be worth anything?

Before you scrap the resource or decide not to share it with the world, you have to read this post!

If you wanted to bake an apple pie, but didn’t have a recipe, what would you do? I’m willing to bet most people would Google it. (Maybe if you’re old-school, you’d open a cookbook.)

Whether you search the interwebs for a recipe or refer to your favorite dogeared cookbooks, you are going to be faced with multiple choices.

Some recipes would call for a buttery crust… Others would insist on using vegetable shortening…

Some would say to cut your apples into small bite-sized pieces, while others would say the best apple pies have larger slices of apples…

Some would call for plenty of cinnamon… Others would swear by a pinch of nutmeg adding a little something extra…

And when it comes to the crust, you could do a full crust, crumbs, or even a lattice top…

Okay, okay, you get the idea (and you might be getting hungry like I am!)… There are COUNTLESS ways to bake an apple pie!

Not only are there endless possibilities of how to bake it, but we all have different preferences. I like soft, sweet apples in my pies… But my husband likes firm, tart apples.

So when you find yourself with a “new idea” that’s not really so new, don’t just throw it away so quickly. In fact, do me a favor.

Consider the possibilities.

Is it something “new enough” to be useful to other teachers like you?

Is it more valuable to you than any existent resources with its innovative ideas or customization?

Is it an improvement on an old idea?

Have you found a way to use an old idea in a new way – maybe by thinking outside the box?

Have you combined ideas into something that you’ve found is a great teaching or learning tool?

Who knows… The idea you considered throwing away might just be a new recipe for success for teachers like you.

Katrina Martin

Katrina Martin is the owner of Katrina's Resources and a B-6 certified teacher in New York State. She specializes in elementary education and curriculum development. You can read her blog at KatrinasResources.com or view her educational resources on TeachersPayTeachers.com.

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