In April 2016 I had the opportunity to see George Couros present at the TIE conference. I purchased the Innovator’s Mindset and read it. I highlighted and sticky-noted so many things while reading. As soon as I finished reading I shared the book with my administrator.
Some of my favorite quotes include “We choose whether or not we will grow, change, or innovate. But in schools, where we focus on our students as the future, growth can no longer be simply an option.” & “In a world that constantly changes, if our focus is to only maintain what’s already been done, we are bound to become worse. The innovator’s mindset is necessary for all of us if schools are to move forward.” p. 27
“…the question that must be asked every day is, ‘What is best for this learner?’ Individualizing education and starting with empathy for those we serve is where innovative teaching and learning begins.” p. 21
When I heard about the first #IMMOOC I was so excited! I registered… and I never participated. I started a blog, and have a few posts, but have not been consistent. I’ve been struggling with feeling that there is a hole or gap in my professional aspirations. Here is a little bit of writing I did last week:
to learn or to grow you do not always need a new location or a new seed to plant. sometimes you just need to improve the care you provide to the plants you already have, let their roots expand and their flowers bloom, give time for the fruit to develop. pay more attention to the circumstances that limit or enhance the growth. slow down and smell the flowers, observe your surroundings. it may not mean covering as much ground as possible in a given amount of time, but rather that the time spent on something is meaningful, slow, deliberate.
When I received the e-mails that the 2nd #IMMOOC was starting I had a light bulb moment. Here was a book that I was so connected to and so interested in, and I had an opportunity to enrich that experience and challenge myself, but I didn’t do it. As I was re-reading the introduction and the first chapter there were new things I was highlighting that I hadn’t the first time, and I found myself reflecting on the things I was still doing that did not line up with my belief about teaching.
Part of an innovation is the design process, which I teach all year long. It is not a quick solution. It is an iterative cycle. I need to stop rushing from task to task and objective to objective. I need to start being innovative. To do so, I need to set some goals, make a specific plan, work with others, reflect on my progress, and repeat… not move on to something new.
I am so looking forward to the opportunity to revisit this book, to reflect on my learning and beliefs over the course of a year, and connect with other educators who are inspired by this book and this author.