First, definitions:

World English Dictionary

unorthodox  (ʌnˈɔːθəˌdɒks)
— adj
not conventional in belief, behaviour, custom, etc


World English Dictionary

effective  (ɪˈfɛktɪv)
— adj
1. productive of or capable of producing a result


As an artist, having an unorthodox point of view is not uncommon. As a teacher, however, it can be precarious.  The education system in the US is so results oriented that innovation is frowned upon. More and more schools expect their teachers to produce good test takers, but not necessarily good thinkers.  Administrators get nervous when teachers don’t toe the line.

Effective teachers find a way to train their students to think critically and perform well on tests. And in order to be effective for the long term, they must be creative, passionate–and usually a little unorthodox. Wise administrators give those teachers freedom and the results generally include happy teachers, intelligent students, and impressive test scores.

It may be a challenge, but the education paradigm must shift in order to meet and exceed expectations for the future. Encouraging unorthodox teaching methods is one way to improve effectiveness in the classroom and create lifelong learners for society.

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