How Teachers Are Using Instagram To Innovate – What Are You Doing?

Getty 2/12/2018

“Are you sick of hearing teachers complain about poor pay? Even if you are, do their pleas make you feel a bit guilty? At the same time, do you feel put-upon by being asked to send all manner of supplies to the schools your children attend?”

You are not alone. Teachers are sick of it too. So tired of it, in fact, that some have used ingenuity and motivation to find a solution to multiple challenges simultaneously. Using the power of social media platforms, notably Instagram, teacher are selling items they have developed for their own classrooms, to others.

One teacher reported making $50,000 per year in salary, but an additional $200,000 per year from selling her creations online. Using the hashtag #TeachersPayTeachers, helps teachers find one another. Their creations are affordable, and the market for them is both large and eager.

The idea has caught fire not only because it enables teachers to buy and sell resources. Teachers say they are able to collaborate and learn from one another in a new way. Further, some students follow the teachers on Instagram and are watching and learning from the growing enterprise. They are seeing innovation in action.

Innovation requires both imagination and motivation to bear fruit. For the teachers, motivation comes at least in part, from necessity. But necessity doesn’t guarantee creativity and the absence of hardship doesn’t predict a lack of innovation.  Imagination and motivation can be found in any circumstance. The challenge is to recognize it and fan the flames.

Why is it so hard to spot? Because the qualities that are important for innovation do not show up neatly packed in a single person, as we may wish. We might call these people creatorsCreators have a lot of imagination and motivation. They see possibility and can envision, create models, test, refine and market. Those folks are rare and the competition for them is fierce, at least amongst those who recognize the valuable combination of skills.

What keeps leaders from hiring creators? Fear. Creators don’t often want a boss. They disdain lack of freedom and hate bureaucracy. This presents a conflict for some bosses.

The dreamers are great at imagining. Their motivation to implement their ideas may be low and they often get labeled as impractical. When a dreamer shows up in a job interview, they can easily be dismissed as someone who doesn’t ‘get things done.’ In the right environment, dreamers can be catalysts. Almost as if they have magic fairy dust.

Doers are great at getting things done. We need them to run the trains. But when we think of doers in only one way, it limits us. It limits our ability to learn from them and limits their futures. The dreamers and the creators need doers to help them make predictions and offer hypotheses to speed the development process along. We can’t test our ideas until we actually do something. A doer may just be the one on your team who greases the rails.

Leaders need all these kinds of people – dreamers, doers, and creators. The group you don’t need or want are takers.

CONSTANCE DIERICKX, PHD

Takers are people who ride on other’s coattails or jump in front of every parade. Not only will a taker not create, but they will also get in the way of creation. They are the kid in your red wagon who sticks his foot out and drags it on the ground every time you turn your back. The person who distains creativity and tries to prevent others from inventing, engineering, testing, changing, modifying. They bring neither motivation nor imagination.

Hire the dreamers, just make sure you also hire the doers. Help them see that together, they create and achieve. Hire the creators, who can synthesize information from far-flung disciplines. Hire people whose happiness comes from dreaming, doing, and creating. Steer clear of the pontificators, bombasts, Chicken Littles, and the miserable Devil’s Advocates who do nothing but point out the flaws in your plans.

Piloting and testing ideas will reveal weaknesses. Let the low-risk mistakes happen. Squash perfectionism in favor of ingenuity! Look what a group of school teachers have done and are doing. They envisioned it, planned and are executing.

What are you doing in your business to unleash the dreamer, make room for the doer and remove the shackles from the creators?


Constance Dierickx specializes “in working with organizations in high-stakes transitions, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, CEO succession, strategic change, and crisis.” In a crisis, she is known as “the secret weapon” having worked with companies including AAA, AT&T, Belk, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, FritoLay, IBM, NextGear Capital, Olive Garden and others.

For the full article visit here: Forbes

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