I’m reading Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros aka the Principal of Change. I resisted buying it and reading it for quite some time now because, whew, I am one busy girl. But, then I discovered the #IMMOOC – an Innovator’s Mindset Massive Open Online Course!
I was hooked!! Yes, I know, you are wondering, “Hmmm, Molly, perhaps I’m mistaken, but didn’t you just say you didn’t have time to READ the book? Isn’t a MOOC more work than just reading? Have you, by chance, lost your mind?”
What a great question! I do feel in some ways, that I have fallen over the edge into some sort of madness, lol. But, I know that feeling is not exactly accurate. My decision feels a bit mad because it will mean I get less sleep, more struggle, and more work.
However, feelings aren’t always truth. In reality the decision to be part of #IMMOOC is actually quite sane and wonderful. I get to be part of, and interact with, a huge network of people invested in their own personal learning, and passionate about impacting education (and the world) for the better! How could anyone, much less me, pass that up?!?!!!!
So, here I am, in the midst of the #IMMOOC, unsure of where exactly we are supposed to be in the book and our blogging, but loving where I am! I’ve read some of the book, reflected, engaged in the twitter chat (And might I just say, the #IMMOOC twitter chat people had incredible energy and passion. It started at 9pm my time. By 9:40 my eyes were bleary and my head was exploding. I took the gems I had read so far, reveled in the excitement for a moment longer, toyed with the idea of staying, but decided discretion is the better part of valor, and quietly left the chat for some much needed sleep.) and now have begun blogging about the Innovator’s Mindset. So, with that said, let me get to it.
My first “You go, man!” came in the publishers forward, when I read “School can be amazing.” Before I continue, I’d like to suggest an edit. I think it should read, “School can be amazing!” Or, even, “School can be AMAZING!”
All too often I hear people comment — in support of school NOT being amazing — “It is school after all.” Eee gads, people. School can, and should be, amazing! If it isn’t, we are doing something wrong. Learning is awesome. Exploration is amazing. Discovery is exciting. How do we go from that to “It is school after all?”
I heard Ken Robinson speak at the NAIS conference on Friday. (Magnificent as always!) He mentioned a horrifying statistic. He said “According to the World Health Organization, unipolar depressive disorders were ranked as the third leading cause of the global burden of disease in 2004 and will move into the first place by 2030.” I thought of that as I read the introduction to George’s book. George says:
“Inspiration is one of the chief needs of today’s kids. … our responsibility isn’t solely to teach memorization or the mechanics of a task but to spark curiosity that empowers students to learn on their own. To wonder. To explore. To become leaders.” (Innovator’s Mindset p. 4)
I would add to that list, if I may be so bold:
To struggle. To fail – and through the failure, to learn and thrive. To consider possibilities. To find new answers and new questions. To know the joy of learning. To inspire, challenge, and teach each other, and us.
I believe in the profound work we do as educators, and the (to quote my El Sistema and Reggio friends) transformative power of education. It is not, in my humble opinion, that schools can be amazing. It is that schools should, and must be, amazing.
We have the power to positively impact the future of our youth and our world. The transformative power of education, in the hands of innovative educators who believe in the incredible beauty, goodness, power, and ability of all our students, can change the future, and cause the WHO to have to reassess and change their prediction for 2030.
A girl can hope!
Molly, I love your lament of the discouraging state of education… not because the fact is good but because it sums up the one reason I get fristrated at my school the most: COMPLACENCY. Moreover, I have to whole heartedly agree that there’s nothing more sane than engaging in this IMMOOC. There’s a quote in a part of the book I’ve gotten to that says learning comes when you disrupt your routine… and boy have WE ever! I felt the same way about taking on this challenge but having the courage to put on the brakes and say “this matters” is what this book is all about!!!
I bet you’ve always really been an innovator like me. That means it starts with us to spark innovation within our schools. We got this sister!
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Thanks so much Elizabeth! Awesome to have innovating sisters rocking education, and the world, with me! Keep at it! Now to check out your blog! 🙂
Molly I can feel your excitement for what you do jump from the page. I agree all educators should believe that school should be an amazing place. I feel it should be an amazing place for students and teachers! Can’t wait to see what you write next.
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Hey Christy! Thanks! Indeed, wouldn’t that be the BEST? Schools being amazing places for students and teachers! 😀 Let’s do it!