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The Meaning of Innovation

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The Meaning of Innovation
Rudy Brandl

What does the word innovation mean? If you Google the dictionary for an answer, it will tell you innovation is a noun meaning “the action or process of innovating” or a “new method, idea, product.” 

If new methods, ideas and products fulfill the meaning of innovation, then there’s been plenty of it here at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School this fall. Everywhere I turn, I see teachers and students coming up with new methods and fresh ideas. This collaborative partnership has yielded a wonderful product – an incredible educational experience that’s being delivered in the most challenging times. 

Innovation does not need high level science or technology to be considered successful or productive. You don’t need expensive equipment to produce innovation. Some of the most innovative practices begin with an idea. Our teachers are keeping students engaged in their education safely by providing new approaches and executing their lessons in different ways. 

This is happening in every classroom. Teachers are connecting with their students, both in person and remotely. Students are connecting with their classmates, both in person and remotely. Many teachers have taken advantage of good weather to conduct classes outdoors. Some have staged theme days that embrace outdoor instruction. Coaches have found a way to make things work by organizing safe workouts and the Middle School ran some very spirited intra-squad competitions throughout the fall.

Some of our best examples of innovation will come in the performing arts. The final two months of the calendar year are always a busy time for Sharon Byrne, Performing Arts Department Chair. In addition to juggling her many classes, Mrs. Byrne is working with the production staff of the Upper School fall play and collaborating with Band Director Rick Fontaine on the Middle and Upper School winter concerts. 

This year, none of those events can be held in their usual form. However, the W+H community will enjoy the opportunity to see our actors, singers and musicians share their amazing talents. Mrs. Byrne, Mr. Fontaine and the play’s production staff have come up with some creative ways to allow our student artists to shine and keep our community entertained in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned and enjoy as W+H continues to deliver innovation as one of its many important educational priorities.