I am participating in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) with hundreds of other educators across the globe, about The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros. These are my reflections for Season 3, Week 3 of #IMMOOC, and the prompt:
Relationships and collaboration are crucial to innovation, but what about working in isolation? Where does that come into play?
As I reflected on George’s words, and this prompt, I was thinking about the importance of the relationships between a teacher and his or her principal/ administration. If a teacher wants to take a risk in her classroom, to try to innovate, she needs to know that she has the support of her administration. If a teacher feels she might “get in trouble” if she steps out of the typical box, she will be less willing to even consider taking a risk. And if that is how a teacher feels, how will her students feel about innovation?
Our school leaders need to be empowered in order to empower innovative learning in their school systems.
“Demanding compliance will not effectively prepare learners for being productive citizens today, nor in their future.” ~ p. 103, The Innovator’s Mindset
The quote above jumped out at me, not just about K-12 students, but also about educators. If administrators demand compliance from educators, they will demand compliance of students, and we will perpetuate our current system. If teachers feel supported and empowered to take risks on behalf of student learning, student and adult learners will benefit!
So as I work with and coach administrators, I hope to inspire them to empower teachers, through collaborative, trusting relationships. Taking risks is… risky! I want to create systems where learners feel confident that they are not risky anything life-shattering by trying something new and different. And as I talk about in my video reflection, posted to Twitter earlier today (and linked below), I hope that my young nephews end up in classrooms where they are empowered in their own passion-based learning!