George Couros… he’s had quite the impact on my career in just a few short months. I only picked up his book, The Innovator’s Mindset, in September in order to participate in the first round of #IMMOOC, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Last week, I had the absolute pleasure of hearing him speak and working with him when he came and addressed the new staff of École Sage Creek School, a new school which will be opening in September 2017. I feel so fortunate to be part of this amazing team and can’t wait to see what the future holds!
During George’s talk, I found myself “knowing” many of the things he shared. I guess I’ve been following his work so closely this year that I felt like I could’ve finished most of his sentences! What amazed me though is that, even though I had this feeling, I still felt so inspired and still learned so much! He was still able to take me from my point A (which was different than most of my new colleagues) and push me forward. Here are some of my favorite takeaways and lingering thoughts I have…
We all want our students to be resilient. We want them to continue in the face of adversity and try and try again when they encounter problems. The easiest way to do this is to tap into their passions. Think of it, are you more likely to give up or to keep trying if you’re learning something about which you’re passionate? In short, high passion means more resiliency.
In order to grow, we need to support one another but also push one another out of our comfort zone. It was so evident, right from the beginning of his presentation, how honest and blunt George can be, all with the intent of pushing and getting us feeling just uncomfortable enough to want to make some changes. I think that most teachers have people who support them, but it’s also crucial to find those people who challenge us in order to grow.
This leads me perfectly to my next take-away, which just might be my favorite one of the day. We need to challenge in order to grow. Challenging, questioning, complaining in order to avoid change and to hold on to things that have always been done a certain way is NOT what will lead to innovation. From experience, those people who tend to challenge in order to stay put are the ones that suck the life out of everyone else in the room. I try to avoid those people and surround myself with people who aren’t afraid to challenge and question, but with the end goal of understanding, learning and growing.
As a mom myself, whose oldest son is currently in 1st grade and whose second is about to start kindergarten in September, I’m constantly thinking about what kind of teachers they have and will have (probably even more so because I’m a teacher myself). During George’s presentation, he brought up a very interesting point; that most parents are probably googling their children’s teachers, but what do they find? One of my biggest struggles as a parent of children who are now in school is that I virtually have no say as to who they will get as their teachers. My boys spend way more time in a day with their teacher than they do with me, yet I don’t get a say in who that person will be. I have to put all of my trust in the school and hope that the teachers that my boys will get are great. Any parent knows that this isn’t easy, but couldn’t a simple google search alleviate some of those concerns? I guess it depends what you find, if anything. What does a google search show about you?
Tap into your students’ passions to increase resiliency.
Find people who will support you AND push you.
Challenge in order to grow.
Google yourself to see what you’ll find. Adjust accordingly.