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Dr. Dugan offers us her idea that our vast and wonderful imaginations are the key to innovating. Imagination requires space. Imagination cannot flourish when those tapping into it feel endangered. Many years ago, a teacher came to me and said they could not be creative with the materials they were given for a short six-week summer intervention program. After much listening, I understood that the teacher felt the weight of bringing all the children to reading at their grade level in six short weeks. What if that wasn’t the goal? What if the goal was to help them have two new strategies for reading comprehension and to become enthusiastic about reading? These questions made it safe for the teacher to approach the summer differently. The teacher and the children read books together as plays. And every child’s reading improved and many seemed to become engaged readers.


How can you create the space you need for innovation?


What is a small change that would have the greatest positive impact on your children and you?

Go back to your notes from these first few weeks of school. What patterns are you seeing? What is one small thing that needs to be transformed?


How can you help yourself to feel supported in making the change?

If you live in a space where innovation is not nurtured and unsuccessful attempts are seen as failures, are there people trying to be innovative that might align with you? How can you tap into these innovators to support you and the transformation you want to make? [If you’re in this type of environment you will want to assess the impact of staying in it.]


How will you measure effectiveness?

Dr. Dugan and Shane Shafir offer innovative ways to measure the implementation of a strategy you are implementing in their book Street Data. Check it out. A favorite: Ask students.


Make The Change. Tell Those Benefiting From The Change That You Are Doing It.

Try it. Ask the people impacted by the change how it worked for them.


Take Good Care. Make Space. Tap In.



A Theme Song For Tapping In: “We Feel It,” The Alphabet Rockers

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