I have been inspired to write my next blog post after reading The Innovators Mindset by George Couros. This book is up there with the most inspiring books I have read. I started to mark pages with post it notes and probably should have given up half way through. Nearly every page is bookmarked!
This book was of particular interest to me as I have recently been given the title of ‘Innovation and Creativity Coordinator’ and I now feel ready and inspired to begin this new journey!
I was hooked from the start – George talks about how teachers fear technology and how we bombard our students with horror stories of what can go wrong. He made me smile when referring to writing with a pencil and saying – imagine if all we talk about is how you could stab someone in the eye with one! A very good point for which I will refer to in my own profession.
Thanks to George – I now have a clear definition of what innovation is – creating something new and better – and can share this with my students. He talks about innovation as a way of thinking – and I have been convinced for a long time that thinking skills are essential for survival in the 21st century world.
Being an innovator starts with a question, another skill I try to encourage in my students. Questions are the basis of inquiry learning and are integral to successful investigations. I encourage my students to develop well thought out questions for their weekly Genius Hour time as this forms the solid foundations for their projects. One of my students recently found a problem with iPad case designs and therefore decided to design and make one of her own. She is an innovator and I am incredibly passionate about developing and encouraging these skills and solution finding.
George talks about ‘Identity Day’ where students get to spend the day sharing their own and learning about others passions and interests. I have always said that it is vital that we know our students and this is a great way to develop these relationships. Thank you George for sharing this wonderful idea.
I love Sylvia Duckworths diagrams throughout this book – they are meaningful and incredibly useful to educators today. My favourite would have to be – The 8 characteristics of an innovator’s mindset – I encourage you to look this up.
There are so many things I want to share from this book – The mantra of an innovative educator, Sylvia’s many diagrams and the 8 things to look for in today’s classroom.
If have learnt many strategies to incorporate into my teaching and future career as a potential leader. Trust your employees, empathise with students (spend a day in their shoes) and spend time in the classrooms. This is not to intimidate and observe the teachers, but to be present and get to know your environment and school community.
Last year, I completed my Masters in Educational Leadership and completed an assignment about the importance of empathy in education. George has solidified this thought by taking about how empathy is the most important component of innovation. Understanding our community is critical if we want innovation to flourish and this is why I connected so strongly with this book.
I highly recommend you read this book – to be inspired, motivated and ready to face the challenges we encounter in the 21st century world. Thank you George for your empowerment to be a better educator.