The word is …

This had all the potential in the world to be something truly unique and interesting.

Oxford Dictionaries was interested in crowd-sourcing “the world’s least favourite words.”

#OneWordMap: mapping the world’s least favourite words

Sadly, the experiment had to be cancelled because there was deemed to be “severe misuse” of the process.  In poking around, I stumbled into some of the words that were leading:

  • moist
  • phlegm
  • no
  • hate

I started to wonder what I would have answered.  It’s easy to identify profanity, I suppose; it’s not something that many people like.  

But as I was checking out new followers on social media, there’s one word that has me grinding my teeth – “innovative”.  And, I guess to be clear, it’s not the word, it’s how it’s sometimes used.

When I check out new contacts/followers/friends, I look at their profiles and that’s where I see it and it makes me wonder when someone adds to their bio “I am an innovative teacher who …”

It’s the implication that they are innovative and you’re not.

I think of all the teachers who I’ve worked with and it’s difficult for me to identify anyone who wasn’t “innovative” at some level.  After all, in education, you never have enough resources or classrooms of Rhodes Scholars.  I would suggest that innovation and finding those ways to reach who you can with what you have at your fingertips are what make educators such a valuable resource.  

So, is “I am an innovative teacher who …” any different than “I am a teacher who …” ?

If you haven’t, you should read George Couros’ “The Innovator’s Mindset”.  I would challenge any educator to say “That’s not me at any level”.  I would also challenge any educator to say “Been there, done that, got the t-shirt”.  I believe that it’s part of what separates those who teach from many who don’t.  I believe that it’s this ability to innovate that generates success.  I believe that anyone can get better; it was a major takeaway for me from George’s book.

Disagree?  Convince be I’m wrong.

There’s some good reading about the project and, sadly, its cancellation here.

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