Cleanliness is next to innovationness

clean We bit the bullet this week and hired a professional housecleaning service. Our time seems to be dwindling away now that the girls are older, and it seemed like the right time. After a few hours of “straightening”, I felt like the house looked good enough to have someone else come in and take care of the rest. Although the consensus from the smaller people was that it now looked “weird” (read: no visible signs of children living in the house, i.e. Barbies, bits of paper, and Lego everywhere), I found myself more relaxed already.

I’ll admit, I felt weird having other people take care of a job I can do myself. I know how I judge, and I’m sure there was internal judging going on with the four folks who showed up, but they had a job to do, and this wasn’t a courtroom. They did the “deep clean”, which means they looked at and tackled things we hadn’t considered since we moved in 8 years ago. I had some skepticism – could it REALLY be better than we could do, or were we just throwing in the towel because we’d gotten too far behind?

The results were more positive than negative. It was TERRIFIC to have everything done. We generally hit a few things on the weekends and let other things go, but this was everything. (My baseboards are gleaming! It’s amazing!) There were a few spots that were missed, but we were pleased with the end product. And we have no cleaning to do this weekend, which is a load off of our minds. We can actually have FUN and not worry about all the chores that need to be done!

All of this made me think about how hiring someone to clean is like trying a new tech tool, or other “innovative” product. Sure, I could do what I’ve always done and be partly satisfied, but is there someone or something else that could help make my life easier/better/more complete? There is a great possibility the answer will be yes. Will there be things I don’t like? Of course. Will I need to do some things to maintain the status quo, things I’m comfortable with and have done for years? Yes. But, overall, will my life be better because of this tool/product/experience? Absolutely.

I’ve also started to reevaluate my definition of innovation. In my mind, innovation has been that HUGE thing you do to make a HUGE change in your classroom. Going 1-to-1 was like that for me. Huge change, and therefore, innovation. But was it? Or was it just substitution? Now, I’m thinking innovation is what you do in increments, trying new programs, apps, and systems, in order to make things run more smoothly. Which means I’ve been innovating for years, and just didn’t know it. And so have you.

Below is a list of the 7 tools* I use all the time, and that I feel have helped me innovate in my classroom. The plan is to discuss each in more depth in future posts instead of extending this one further, but feel free to investigate or comment if you wish.

  1. Google Classroom  G Classroom.jpeg
  2. Google Drive  Drive.jpeg
  3. Twitter twitter.png
  4. Remind Remind.png
  5. Flipgrid Flipgrid.png
  6. Global Read Aloud GRA.jpeg
  7. The Writing Strategies Book, Writing Strategies book.jpeg and
  8. The Reading Strategies Book Reading Strategies book.jpeg

I’d appreciate hearing about anything you use that you find indispensable, as innovation is all about getting better all the time!

 

*I am not being compensated for advertising, I just love these!

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