When I reflect on the best days as a teacher, I think to the days the students were engaged with the work. The days where I planned learning experiences that allowed students to be owners of their own learning and resources for each other. My role was to "allow" students to explore, without telling them every step along the way. I think back to when I asked the local flower shop if I could have some left over Valentine flowers for my 4th graders to take apart. I was surprised when the Flower Shop Van pulled in and brought me a whole shopping cart full of lots of different flowers. The kids worked on group projects for a week based on the flowers.
As soon as the first student asked me what kind of flower and where does it grow, they immediately turned science into social studies. They were off exploring for their own answers.
This type of teaching takes faith - faith in students to ask great questions. faith the principal will not walk in the room and wonder why there are literally hundreds of flower parts all over the floor, faith that students are naturally curious about the world around them and faith to not be the owner of all the knowledge.
Innovation takes faith to step out of a comfort zone and think about using old ideas in new and different ways.