I love this post from George Couros – It’s Possible .
I’m thinking about why some schools innovate, and some schools stagnate…why some people innovate, and why they stagnate. Thinking back over my learning journey, I was drawn to this comment from George:
We know amazing schools exist. We know amazing classrooms led by amazing teachers are creating better learning opportunities for students every day. They look at opportunities, not obstacles. This is how great leaders think every single day.
Mindset is critical! When I’m making a difference, in my personal life, in the classroom and through my leadership, I’m looking for opportunities, focusing on the possibilities and taking action. Focussing on possibilities rather than realities allows me to take a “fail fast” attitude to my teaching and learning. It allows me to be agile. It allows me to innovate.
As school leaders, if we are talking about “a culture of innovation” or “schools that innovate”…we are focusing on creating environments in which staff and students are trusted to seek out possibilities and act on opportunities. Agile organisations are built on de-centralised control, and trust. To innovate, schools need to be agile, and to be agile, we need to empower teachers to take advantage of opportunities as they present. We do this by building culture, and we support an innovative culture by developing policies that empower teachers rather than restricting them.
In return for this trust, classroom teachers have a professional duty. We have a duty to innovate, to reflect on our practice and continually re-imagine our work. We have an obligation to understand the world as it exists today, and how it might exist in the future. Above all, we have a responsibility to teach in a way that prepares children for the world that they will live and work in.
Trust, professionalism, duty and a commitment to reflective practice. I honestly believe that is all we need to embed a culture of innovation in education. Innovation is a mindset, but everyone has to buy in!