Saturday, 27 August 2016

Ah summer!  Time for golf, vacations, recharging and reading!  I did some reading this summer.  The usual pleasure reading, mindless reading and even some professional reading!  One of these professional reads that really stuck with me was The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros.
(San Diego: Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc., 2015).  It drew me in right away and I read it in one sitting...just couldn't put it down.  If you have read any Growth Mindset articles or books by Carol Dueck, and found yourself nodding your head to what she is talking  about, then this book is for you!

He goes over what is and isn't innovation in today's schools.  For example....if you are using your smart board as a really expensive overhead projector to show students the same old handouts you scanned into your computer....well then folks, may not be an Innovator!  Couros tells us that innovation is not about conformity or improved test scores.  It's about teaching them to think critically, ask questions, collaborate with others worldwide to find solutions and to inspire personal growth (p.5).

He has a section on building relationships and a culture of innovation in our schools.  I think this was my favourite section.   The professional relationships in our classrooms are everything.  No student is going to risk even volunteering an answer without having the trust that they will be listened to and respected in your room.  I think my favourite line in the book is found here: " The three most important words in education are: relationships, relationships, relationships.  Without them, we have nothing." (P. 68).

The last two sections are about how to put your plans in action.  I found these to be more administration based, but they had lots of good classroom implications as well. The book also talks about using technology in a meaningful way to encourage innovation...right up my alley!

The Innovator's Mindset is full of great ideas and inspirations. I've committed many things he said to memory, and vowed to adopt an Innovator's Mindset in my classroom too.  So, if you have some time and want to be inspired yourself, read this book!

You can also follow George Couros on Twitter :   @GeorgeCouros