Too often, In school, we are taught what to think but not how to think. Learning and using our education for real life skills cannot be used until we learn how to think about certain things rather than learning what to think about a certain thing. For example, you can tell me a story about Woodrow Wilson and how he had success in making the Democratic party a “party of reform,” and his ability to shape and mobilize public opinion. But just because I know that, and I was taught to believe that he was a great president in the year of 1913, how am I able to think on my own and create my own opinions on a person that we are taught to memorize for a test rather than taught to debate about his success? Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think. So why are we taught differently?
Innovation lab doesn’t do this. The program doesn’t teach the students to try and make us “remember” or even to remember what to think about a certain event or person in history, we make those decisions for ourselves during debates and class discussions. We use what we learn for real life skills. We create projects to show others how we think and how we use that thinking in our learning. Creative thinking is a skill that can be learned, but without that person pushing you to think outside of the box, how can you learn to create something out of understanding rather than create something out of remembering?
This is why I like being an innovation lab student and receiving the type of education Innovation Lab offers. During my first year of being an in lab student, I have had so much success. My skills in Algebra has improved and my public speaking skills as well. I remember in the beginning of the school year I wasn’t much of a talker, very quiet and very shy. Now, I have learned how to improve my speaking skills whether it’s presenting something in front of the class or simply talking to new people. Not only have I improved these speaking skills in Innovation Lab, but I also have outside of Innovation Lab. Whether I interview someone or present a play for a National History Day competition, my public speaking skills have improved by a lot and I have become more confident with speaking in front of others.
That being said, there are some things I hope to improve in the future and for the next following years as being an Innovation lab student. One goal that I have for myself to complete either next year or the year afterward is to work more with different people in my classes. Get to know more people and maybe not work with the same people when it comes to class assignments or projects. Most of the time we are allowed to work with whoever we would like which can be good but sometimes bad because you tend to talk to the same people over and over again. To complete this goal I think I could try and be more talkative and open to others who I don’t know that well. Another goal that I have for myself is to try and get more assistance from my teachers outside of school. Maybe if I am stuck on something, instead of going on khan academy or looking it up online (which is always helpful) I could meet my teachers after school and meet to go over the things I am struggling. I think you should always take advantage of that opportunity to stay after school and get extra help from your teachers if you’re stuck or don’t understand something because that’s what they’re there for, to help you.
The In lab teachers are always excited to help students when they need extra assistance on something they don’t understand. They are never not excited to help a student and they are always encouraging and helpful when it comes to education. I am glad I have such wonderful teachers because without them, without receiving that extra five minutes of help I need on the math problem I’m stuck on, or that five minutes of explaining the importance of the meaning of Isotopes, I don’t think I’d be able to fully understand what I am learning, or be able to think about what I am learning. I guess Innovation is the only way to win when it comes to education..