Thank you to George Couros, Katie Martin, and Dave Burgess for inspiring me (and hundreds of other educators!) to share reflections about innovation while we discuss The Innovator’s Mindset through the #IMMOCC.
In the first week’s video, Dave charged educators with the “relentless pursuit for what engages our students”. In his book Teach Like a Pirate he also asks educators whether their students would show up to their classes if they didn’t HAVE TO show up. I would challenge principals with the same question about their staff meetings and professional development opportunities.
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Pedro Noguera speak at the San Diego Equity Symposium. Dr. Noguera asks us, a room full of educators, how often our students run home and say, “Wow! You won’t believe what I learned today! I have to tell you all about it!” The audience laughed, knowing how infrequently that must happen in most communities. Later in the symposium Dr. Noguera asked a panel of high school students (juniors and seniors) how often they ran home excited to share their learning. Most of the students had at least one learning experience they could remember. One. Learning. Experience.
This past Saturday’s #satchatwc was all about innovation. One of the questions asked us when is innovation worth the risk for our own personal growth. My response:
A6: If you don’t enjoy your work, if you are beating the Ss out the door each afternoon, then it’s time to innovate! #satchatwc
— Amy Illingworth, EdD (@AmyLIllingworth) September 17, 2016
It’s easy to say it’s time to innovate. As a leader I know that it’s much harder to lead a learning community through a long-term change that is sustainable. This is why it’s so important to surround yourself with a PLN that encourages, supports, and challenges you to learn and grow in new ways.
This past weekend I had to have head shots taken for an upcoming opportunity. The photographer sent me over 80 pictures to review in order to narrow down to my top four pictures for editing. I HATE looking at pictures of myself. I really hated looking at 80 of them in a short period of time!
I also dislike hearing my voice on tape/video. When I saw George’s charge for us to share a 30 second Twitter reflection about the introduction to his book, I panicked! These experiences reminded me of what George said in the week one video about disrupting our norm and about the importance of sharing our work publicly.
While I may not love my pictures or recorded voice (or each of my lesson plans or professional development plans), if others can learn with and from me, it’s important for me to share. When teachers and leaders are hesitant to share, I think it’s often driven out of fear. I know for me, the thought of others judging my pictures the way I did in my mind was scary! But in reality, we don’t judge others – we are excited to see great work happening around us. It can inspire us to innovate in new ways.
I guess this means I need to go record my 30 second video- you will hopefully see it on Twitter soon!