Tuesday, September 13, 2016

You Are Your Only Limit

My team and I are engaged in a book study. We are reading, "The Innovator's Mindset" by G. Couros. I enjoy it so far and am intrigued with how he extends on Carol Dweck's work of growth mindset. Couros writes that through teaching ours students grit and resilience by modeling it ourselves, we will produce in our students the ability to persevere and become change agents that will pioneer solutions to problems now and in the future. We must seek to provide them an environment of safety so they are not afraid to fail, but an abundance of support so they will rebound and learn from the mistakes they make and rise stronger for the experience. He continues in his writing that curiosity is a key element that must be encouraged. As educators, creating circumstances in and outside our classrooms that lead to discovery and exploration are essential.

The innovators' mindset is one where you realize the skills that you possess are only the beginning of what you could have regarding potential and abilities, and on top of that, you use those limitless abilities to produce an improvement on the present or a completely new creation for the betterment of society. Courous poses a poignant question, do you as a teacher do what is best for students? The answer to that question leads to a discussion on practises in the classroom. For example, when a teacher has to decide between assigning an essay or a blog post, which will be more beneficial for a student presently and in the future. We must not let our own inadequacies and doubts hamper our student's access to essential skills and experiences. Couros includes a quote by S. Downes,
"We need to move beyond the idea that an education is something that is provided for us and toward the idea that an education is something that we create for ourselves."
This is the idea of mindset. Our students are taught by parents, community, and by us, their teachers. Can you imagine a community where the majority, lest I dream, all of us have an innovators mindset? It can happen. We can make this a reality! We must begin with ourselves, because remember, you are your only limit. I appreciate the book that George has written and I look forward to collaboration with other professionals and my team as we delve into his work.

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