Coaching Innovation Learning Landscape

#InnovatorsMindset – What does that mean to me?

The book “The Innovator’s Mindset – Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity” by George Couros (@gcouros) was on my shelf for a while before I started reading and devouring this book. Often I had to stop and think, reflect, rethink and honestly, check the hashtag #InnovatorsMindset on Twitter and Instagram (btw. my first Social Reading experience) because I wondered how other readers commented about certain quotes, ideas and thoughts. It is one of those books which you have to read if it is your vision as an educator to innovate the learning experiences of the students.

Independently from the position, meaning being a teacher, part of the leadership team, a coach or a parent, we all can be part of the change. While reflecting on where and how to start I realised it is important to understand the definition of innovation. George Couros defines it in his book like the following:

The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros p.19

It’s a way of thinking which is determined by our mindset. How does my mindset and my own thinking looks like? How can I change and improve my mindset?

Silvia Duckworth (@sylviaduckworth) visualised the 8 Characteristics of the Innovators Mindset:

Image created by @SylviaDuckworth

As an educator and an educational technology coach I want to reflect on the 8 characteristics as well as think about steps and goals for the next academic year:

1 Empathetic
To what extend do I understand the needs of the teachers and the students? In order to understand different perspectives I’m going to put myself in the shoes of a teacher/student more often, I’m going to make time to shadow a teacher as well as a student on normal school days and I’m going to meet the teachers during their duty at the playground in order to have conversations and ask questions. I’m going to be observant and to listen actively to understand (and not only to react and response). Good relationships are the foundation for innovative and creative interactions and involve all stakeholders to create something new and better.

2 Problem Finders
As a coach I want to improve my skills on listening and asking questions. How can I learn to ask better questions? I’m planning to read “The Art of Coaching” by Elena Aguilar during the summer and hope to find some ideas which I can apply as soon as the new year will start.

3 Risk Taker
How can I be a risk taker myself and encourage other to take risk as well? I wish to live and model a culture of learning which I imagine for the whole school. A culture where teachers feel safe to try new things, to fail, to reflect, to learn, and to try again. A culture where teachers can feel vulnerable to constantly learn and become even better in areas which they are already good at. A culture where their expertise is recognised and appreciated.

4 Networked
Being connected with other educators around the world keeps me motivated. I’m extremely thankful for all educators out there who share their thoughts, ideas – it means ongoing inspiration to me.
I wish to continue contributing to #coachbetter – a community of coaches on Twitter created by Edurolearning‘s conversations about coaching.
I wish to be able to contribute more to the edtech coaches network here in Singapore which tries to meet on a regular base in order to learn from each other.
I wish more teachers at our school see the benefits of being connected because …

This freedom to connect with people outside of our schools allows us to expand our thinking, remix other’s ideas, and put new ideas into practice to create amazing learning experiences for our students.

The Innovator’s Mindset, p. 89

5 Observant
How can I be even more observant? Through being connected it feels like endless ideas come up and they spark new great ideas. How can I communicate those ideas through coaching conversations to the teachers around me so they feel inspired and encouraged to give it a try?

6 Creators
How can I create more often learning experiences for students which let the ideas come alive? I was thinking about creating a menu for teachers. Since our focus for the coming academic year will be computational thinking it could be a menu of learning experiences regarding this topic.

7 Resilient
Last year I learned that it’s important to have the focus on conditions which we can change and where we actually can have an impact. Resilience seems to be one ingredient to achieve goals.

8 Reflective
The most effective way for me to reflect is first by myself but then even more important with others – best case from different perspectives (teachers, like minded educators, leadership, students).
I wish to reflect more often in written form here on the blog. At the same time I’m very much aware that it is challenging. I very much like the idea to reflect about something I learned on a daily/weekly base (like the 184 Days of learning, p. 212).

How do you work on your #InnovatorsMindset?

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