Design Thinking Action Lab : Stanford University
Design Challenge: redefining school-to-work transition
Assignment #3: Ideate
August 14, 2013
Because there is so much competition in finding a teaching job in Ontario, Canada, graduates need
a way to set themselves apart to employers in how they make learning relevant and exciting for
1 Wow the practitioner teachers to get on the
26 Ask a retired teacher to help you do a mock
2 Wow the university teachers to get a good
word in to the teachers’ list.
27 Interview teachers and principals to find out
what is needed to get on the teachers’ list.
3 Link students to community challenges. 28 Talk to teachers on forums to get ideas on
how to stand out, engage students and get
4 Make a lesson plan that is super engaging
for the students.
29 Make a presentation at a teachers’
conference or Professional Development
day on the new technology the students are
interested in and how you can incorporate
that into the classroom.
5 Get parent testimonials of your work. 30 Volunteer to be a science fair judge.
6 Keep calling and bugging the principal. 31 Create a collage portfolio of your work.
7 Have case studies in your resume. 32 Go to a job fair.
8 Give examples of fun, exciting learning
environments that you were involved in like
camps etc. on your interview.
33 Make a creative video resume with footage
of your engaging lessons and funny clips on
how you dealt with “anything in the school”
and post it on your resume website.
9 Use technology in the classroom. 34 Volunteer to be a sports coach or for a
10 Use virtual reality in the classroom. 35 Design an online class for struggling
11 Create learning by doing in the classroom. 36 Design a software for grade 3 Singapore
12 Use educational software. 37 Instead of more practicums, graduates can
observe teachers in the classroom through
13 Get the students to learn what they want to
38 Graduates can be assigned a robot teacher
mentor instead of a real one to teach them
14 The students will be the teacher today. 39 Help find a way to update the outdated
education structure and test it, report
15 Be charismatic with the principal in your 40 Create an engaging Sunday school class at
interview. your church or mosque.
16 Network, network, network! 41 Dress up in costumes while you teach.
17 Volunteer in a school to get exposure and
42 Have a class robot to make learning fun.
18 Move to another city/country to get a 1-2
year contract so you get your foot in the
43 Find out what the ministry’s challenge in
education is and create a project to tackle it.
Create a pilot program and post findings on
19 Prepare yourself to be ready for any
situation in the school by interviewing
veteran teachers, volunteering in the school
44 Find out what the school’s weaknesses are
in the standard test scores and offer to
volunteer in that effort.
20 Informally interview or hang out with
students of that age and see what they are
interested in. Use that as a basis for your
45 Become part of a teachers’ professional
association (at the student rate) and attend
their conferences, get ideas, networks and
creative engaging lesson ideas.
21 Attend a futurism or technology conference
and design a camp or lessons for kids using
this as a basis.
46 Create their own school/alternative school.
22 Be a kid for a day to understand what they
go through to make your lessons relevant.
47 Practice their resume and interview skills
very well and do many, many mock
interviews to prepare.
23 Take a vacation to Disneyland to get ideas
and inspiration for engaging lesson plans.
48 Show to the principal that they provide a
specialized talent that other teachers don’t
have, e.g. specialized guitar lessons for
24 Ask all their friends what makes them
different and special and write out all their
strengths and highlight these in the
49 Hire a professional resume and interview
coach (especially for teaching jobs) to help
25 Make a series of YouTube videos on an
educational topic that is really interesting to
50 Teach an online class (similar to Khan
Academy) and put it up on YouTube.
51 Do a TED Talk about a cutting-edge
i. Most Practical Idea
Make a presentation at a teachers’ conference or Professional Development day at a school on the
new technology the students are interested in and how you can engage students by making new
lesson plans that will incorporate this technology.
ii. Most Disruptive Idea
Find out what the ministry’s challenge in education is (or a particular school) and create a project to
tackle it. Run a pilot program and post findings on your website. Also, do a TED talk on your
findings and put this video on your resume.
iii. My Favorite Idea
Make a creative video resume with footage of your engaging lessons and students, extraordinary
and original lessons and funny clips on how you dealt with “anything that came up in the school”
and post it on your resume website. Show case studies as well as testimonials from students,
parents and teachers.