Not Reinventing the Wheel

As I continue in the instructional design course I am taking, I continue to read through the text and chip away at the projects that are due.  This week we began delving into the first steps of the ADDIE model of instructional design.  As I design a lesson to teach to adult learners. something my instructor said stuck out in my mind, “Don’t reinvent the wheel.”

Picture of bicycle with triangular wheels
Picture from: http://www.jokeroo.com/pictures/car/853736.html

How many times have I reinvented the wheel in my teaching career. As a first year teacher, I remember spending hours and hours planning lessons only to discover nearly identical materials online. As my years as a teacher have continued, I have learned to use the resources available to me, whether they are internet based, found in teaching resources, or shared ideas and items from fellow teachers and modify them to fit my needs. I have learned that there is no shame in working smarter (not harder). In my life of balancing my own education, schooling, and family it has been a hard earned lesson. as many life lessons seem to be.

Don’t reinvent the wheel, just realign it. The College Blue Book~Anthony J. d’Angelo

So what does all this have to do with instructional design. As I read the text this week and listened to the classroom lectures, I was struck by how many of the design models build off of each other or share principles.

Instructional Design: Episode 3- The Models by Epogogy Inc.

So many are variations. Somewhere along the lines, their creators were inspired by other models. They attempted to modify a previous model to meet their needs. As I embark on constructing my lesson, I  do the same. I am working on a Google Classroom project that would facilitate collaboration during teacher team planning. In a school that uses intervention as a means of providing supplemental services to meet student academic needs, it is difficult to plan together with all team members working to impact student learning. As I design the lesson, I think of technology materials I could use to help teachers understand the ideas and process. The difference is where in the past I would have made all of the materials and resources myself, I have recognized the value in a quick google search of key words and browsing session in Youtube to see if someone else has already created the materials needed to support my lesson.

Using those materials is smart and efficient planning. Every teacher knows a teacher who is an inefficient planner, one who spends their time making EVERYTHING from scratch. I used to be that teacher….reinventing the wheel. Why? There are so many ways to find foundations to build on…

Teachers pay teachers logo
Teachers Pay Teachers is a site where one can find lessons for free or a small fee to use as a foundation.

Now that I have learned to use the resources at my disposal, I am a happier teacher with more time for classes, family, and life!

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