Monday, March 28, 2016

The Innovator's Mindset Week 9: Chapters 13 and 14

Are you there yet? As George said, "we will never 'arrive,'" but what are you doing to get there? And how do you know that you're moving forward? How have you changed or how will you change your way of thinking to allow you to move forward in innovating?

Next week will be the last week of this book club. If you want 12 PGPs and to be eligible to win the professional development grant, you have to comment in all 10 weeks' discussions by midnight Eastern Friday, April 8th. Be sure to stay connected to this topic and other people who are innovating by using the Twitter hashtag #InnovatorsMindset. And stay connected with other educators across the state by using the hashtag #INeLearn.

56 comments:

  1. While reading this book there were many things that stuck with me as important and challenging to my mindset as an educator. The one thought that challenged me the most, and one he mentioned again in the last chapter was the need to innovate inside the box. There are always going to be barriers that make it difficult for us to innovate and improve as educators. However, if we have the proper mindset and look for ways to be innovative within the "box" we find ourselves, we can still do great and empowering things for our students.

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  2. The biggest idea that stuck with me through the book was how the author brought choice and individuality into staff, student and community activities. Examples include teachers being allowed to choose their PD and students participating in Identity Day. Using this idea in the classroom/school will take a positive attitude and persistence. There will be people who roll their eyes and tell me it cannot happen. We will "never arrive" but we can continue to move forward to build relationships and give students ownership of their learning.

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    1. Often times when reading this book, I thought of first of the classroom and then of my personal life/children's schooling. However, as the book progressed and I read others comments I realized the importance of my own professional development, that of co-workers and the overall school environment. Choice holds a lot of power. we should "practice what we preach". I do feel the Leader in Me program that our school has implemented has helped to provide students with ownership but feel the possibilities as endless. I also feel that we will never "arrive" but I don't believe this journey has an end destination- our world is continually changing and we will continue to innovate.

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  3. In answering this week's prompt, I think of two things I will focus on as I move forward. One is allowing the students to be empowered or giving them the opportunity to utilize their strengths: "strengths based leadership". I believe that giving them more choice will be the key. The second action I will take is to become more immersed in an "open culture" in education with Twitter. There are great things occurring and being shared. First, I read and react more to what I find on Twitter and then I become one of those that shares. If you all have a favorite innovator in education to follow on Twitter, please share. Also, I am aware of more than just Twitter to follow for innovation. If you have a favorite blog, like George Couros's "Principal of Change", please share.

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    1. I'm a huge fan of Starr Sackstein (@mssackstein); she's a proponent of the no grade classroom; and Todd Finley (@finleyt). I follow many others, but my favorites are usually English teachers.

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  4. I appreciate this approach promoted by Couros and credited to Dylan Wiliam: "If we create a culture where every teacher believes they need to improve, not because they are not good enough but because they can be even better, there is no limit to what we can achieve." I consider myself in the middle of the teaching ages: I can relate to older people near retirement, but I have children at home so I like to think I can relate to the early stages of teaching, as well. The healthiest 'age' and stage is to know that one is capable of learning without being intimidated or offended by the idea that there are still many ways to improve. I have found that this 'age' doesn't have a number of teaching or living years associated with it, rather the teacher is not afraid to admit that there is more to be learned and not insecure in their status as a professional. Now I understand more than ever why Couros has 'mindset' as a part of the book title. The understanding that we are never finished growing or improving should be where we live all the time rather than a place that brings new initiatives in waves because someone else chose the method of growth or improvement. It should not be too surprising to find a correlation between teachers' and students' desires to learn. Teaching in a school that has been 1:1 for four years, I see that teachers and administrators encouraging each other provides the best foundation for the desire to move forward. More people have the 'in this together' mindset, and we want to see each other succeed. Being an encourager is one of the most important roles that I can have.

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    1. I liked Tammy's writing about relating both to older teachers and teachers in the early stages of teaching. I would consider myself a person with "relentless restlessness". I returned to teaching after 20 years in the insurance business. I quit my job, went back to school for Special Education, attaining my Mild Licensure and then completed my Intense Intervention License. The last paragraph quotes " Never stop asking questions or pushing the boundaries of what is possible for learning for our students and ourselves; this is where the true learning will happen". Interesting, I often end my IEPs with "I look forward to .......... pushing the possibilities. " How do I know I am moving forward? One easy answer is, participating in the eLearning Book Clubs. Keeping committed to this weekly blog by reading and writing each week demonstrates the #InnovatorMindset as the number of the committed quickly dwindled. With technology quickly changing, I'm not sure of the ability to do a student portfolio for 12 years. It seems that Indiana education policies change like the Indiana wind. Four years ago, we participated in doing a student portfolio on one of our students with special needs. One year, and poof!

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  5. There are so many things from this book that I want to use in my classroom. The first thing I want to do is go to my other third grade team members and discuss with them a digital portfolio. I think we would need to start slow, maybe just one piece of work a month. I also want to do something with a blog. I have done blogs before, but I think using a blog for reflection is so much more meaningful and purposeful. I plan on going to my director and technology specialist.

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  6. The points made in these last two chapters reminded me of a presentation I attended with author, Mike Mullin. He spoke to the students about becoming a successful (and published) writer. His best advice was to practice. He told the kids that most authors will write a minimum of 10,000 words before they will even be taken seriously by a publisher. As in any profession, practice makes perfect.

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  7. I love the idea of "are we there yet". Back in July I wrote a blog post titled exactly that, https://tomstoner24.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/are-we-there-yet/. In that post I said I hope I never feel like I have arrived "there". I feel when we feel we have arrived "there" then we are no longer willing to learn new things and it is time to get out. There is always more we need to learn and adjust as we continue along this journey.

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  8. I think the line by Dylan Wiliam that Couros uses in chapter 13 is something all administrators should be saying to teachers. "If we create a culture where every teacher believes they need to improve, not because they are not good enough but because they can be even better, there is no limit to what we can achieve." Too often over the past few years I have felt like I needed to improve because I wasn't good enough, it wasn't until I moved around to other school systems that I started to be encouraged to be better because they believed I could achieve more. I especially think the 3 questions on page 215 are important to consider. I would be curious to know how some of my former students would answer. I would like to think they would answer "yes" to considering themselves successful members of society and that their school library impacted this view of themselves. I hope to start thinking outside the box next year when promoting the school library. I would like to be as creative as the English teacher who lives outside of the box. His students either love or hate him, but he pushes them to unleash their talent and hunger for learning, something the ones who don't like him will hopefully understand one day.

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  9. I think that this book has inspired a mindset that we need to constantly work on moving forward and improving how we teach. I think that being a part of this book club is one way to make that happen. Twitter is another. Just keeping in mind " what is best for the students" is how I plan to proceed. I love getting the perspective from the administrator point of view that many have expressed as well as the author. My classroom will be constantly evolving to make my students the center of the learning.

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    1. This book has definitely inspired me to continue to grow and improve as a teacher. This is my first time participating in a book club and I have found it to be very helpful. Discussing my thoughts, and reading what others think, about the reading has helped my understanding and enjoyment of the book.

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  10. How do I know I’m moving forward? I look for new ways to do things and ways to enrich the experience in my classroom. This year everything is new again since it’s the first year we’re digital, so many things I have done this year are new. I’m figuring out how to use our online textbooks and Google Classroom and now am deciding when to use them and when to do something else. Every day I am trying something new. Today I had students each write a section of a play on a Google doc and it made a whole script that they will be acting out tomorrow. Also today we’ve experimented with different voice recordings and apps that write down what you say into the microphone. Meanwhile we foreign language teachers here have been talking about and pursuing digital portfolios.
    I intend to keep this experimentation going! I look for games and videoclips and ways to organize myself and new ways of presentation and new ways for students to perform. Every school year is different and every group of students is different. I intend to change accordingly and be open to new ideas and creating new experiences.

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    1. Isn't going digital a world language teacher's dream? My school has been 1:1 for four years now, and looking back only five years I recall how used to reserve a computer lab for students, but sometimes I had to save up my activities because it was not worth going for just a few minutes, or perhaps it wasn't available at all on the day I needed it. You mentioned voice recording apps: Have you used Voki?

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  11. I want to use many things discussed in this book. I find it very tough right now in my school as we do have IPADS but do not restrict what they can download so it is gaming central and that is hard to supervise and make sure what they actually are doing on the IPADS. Very frustrating !!!
    I want to try building websites for my 1980's class but of course those are blocked.....
    I think education will change completely in 5 years and hope that it is for the better.
    I do experiment with many things and have found it seems with technology that they either work really well or falil horribly but I will keep trying.

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  12. Trying to keep up is a sometimes very hard to do. I go to a technology conference every summer and when time permits I attend two. Twitter and other various forms of communication I have tried. Like some and don't like others. But to give everything a fair shake I try them more than once with a bit of a time gap in-between, enough time to get my frustrations out. It is not just trying the latest technology and programming but using what is available in the smartest way. What I would like is to have training in using what is not available. My school does not have enough computers. We have one computer/ipad per four students. I really enjoyed this book and I plan to use many parts in planning my classes.

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  13. What am I doing to "get there"? Recently, I have not felt that my daily lesson plans were engaging. I know when my students are bored, because I am bored. I feel like technology is one answer to this problem, but I need time to develop skills in this area, so how can I begin now, with only my current skills? I decided to simply begin with the oldest concept in the world- talking. Students read a passage and then connect what they have read to their own lives, and they ask questions when other students tell their stories... I am very anxious to get my students blogging, and by next Fall, we will be, but for now,just enjoying what we are doing has done much for us all.

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    1. A fun way to review lessons is Kahoot. It is a quick and easy website to make in interactive review quiz. If you have computers or iPads available, students of all ages love this website.

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    2. I agree- Kahoot is a hoot, and my students love it. Do you know of any other fun websites?

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  14. I absolutely love the last line of a recent blog post by Couros- http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/6117

    "We can always get better, so we should."

    This line pretty much encompasses growth/innovators mindset!

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  15. My way of "moving forward" is being open to change. I am a firm believer of trying new things. If they work ... great...now make them better. If they don't...tweak them or scrap them and try something else. I appreciate the last part of the book when it talks about our biggest hurdle being adversity. I find myself making excuses for not doing things sometimes and I try to make myself aware of my excuses and just get it done. Moving forward, my two goals are to familiarize myself with Twitter and explore what google has to offer (signed up for online class yesterday).

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  16. I have learned several things from this book. It has been so exciting to use some of the concepts in my conversations with staff about how we can use what we are doing and make it better. Remembering that we need to keep kids first has been a real positive in our school this year. What can I do to help my staff? I think I can continue to encourage them to develop skills that make them better teachers such as looking at what others are doing. I am also trying to decide on my goals for the summer to help me become a better leader. I think I will use twitter to learn more skills as well as start a hashtag for my school to promote positive things that we are doing. I hope teachers will log on and help each other.

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  17. If we create a culture where every teacher believes they need to improve, not because they are not good enough but because they can be even better, there is no limit to what we can achieve.— Dylan

    I think that is a worthy goal for us to have. I know I am by no means "there" yet, but being challenged to continue to improve is something I always need. I have a tendency to be pretty hard on myself, and sometimes "beat myself up" about not being good enough. I need to wrap my head around the idea that I am good. But I can't stop there. I need to make sure that I continue to work hard and improve consistently. I am intrigued by the idea of Digital Portfolios. As a science teacher I don't have students writing a lot on a regular basis. When they do turn written work in, I generally have a negative impression of my students' grammar, spelling, punctuation and generally every other aspect of their writing. Finding ways (and the right technological format) to integrate portfolios into my teaching may be something I need to look into very seriously. In chapter 14 Couros writes, "If I feel something, I am more likely to change my behaviors and beliefs than if I’m simply acquiring facts." I believe that is true and I need to find ways to move students more into feeling things. Just today I heard a student (not one who is in my class, but mine say these things too) say, "When will I ever need to know this in 'real' life?" I need to have a better answer for that question. I need to innovate in order to help myself and my students know that what we learn together has meaning.

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  18. By choosing to be teachers, we are choosing to be lifelong learners. I am always trying to incorporate new things in my classroom. I hope I never feel like I have "arrived". I don't want to be a teacher that when asked, "Why do you do that in your classroom?" replies "Because that's how I've always done it." We really need to focus on what's best for the students, not on how to implement the newest best thing. Sometimes using a paper and pencil is what's best. I want my teaching to continue to evolve, but sometimes that can be exhausting.

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    1. I agree with this. I am now at a point where it is easier to just do what has been established, but I am constantly looking for new info to incorporate in.

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  19. I am still very new to teaching as this is my only 5th year but it was apparent to me from the very beginning that I wouldn't ever be able to just let my curriculum be and teach the same thing over and over again. I am always trying to improve, come up with a new way to teach something, come up with a new project that really engages the students. By trying to constantly make my class the best it can be I think that is how I'm moving forward. Last year I found out about the book club but didn't feel like reading a book and participating. This year, I won't lie, the PGP points were my initial motivator but I don't see myself ever stopping participating in these book clubs. I've only completed two but the information I get during is so valuable and inspiring to me.
    One of the things I want to keep in mind as I go forward is I don't want to create projects and lessons that just have students using their Chromebooks as fancy pencils and papers. I want to make sure I'm moving beyond the engaging aspect and getting to the empowerment as well.
    Something else I'm going to be looking into is the digital portfolios. It recently came up at my school that the way we run parent teacher conferences may not be the best and what if students created a portfolio and they ran the conference with the teacher there if something needed to be discussed. This seems like such a big task to tackle but having a starting point of something to look at and get ideas has me excited to check it out.

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    1. I appreciate you statements about finding ways to constantly improve. In my 11th year teaching, I am still doing this. Participating in these book clubs are a great resource for opening your perspectives on education. I find myself pondering some of the statements made in the book or I read on this blog. It can be truly inspiring!!! Good luck to you and your school on starting digital portfolios. It sounds like a great way for students to showcase their work.

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  20. I know I am moving forward if I always believe that it can be even better. There should always be a continuous review (reflection) and continuous improvement. I will be aware of and strive to reduce barriers.
    One way I will move forward is to share what I have learned including this book with other staff and hopefully open discussions and awareness.

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  21. I have learned several things from this book. I have learned that I am always looking for ways to improve my teaching, and I will continue to learn, even after 27+ years.
    In the past 10 years, I have been interested in the new technology of the internet, and I continue to want to learn and use it in a way that is beneficial to me, to my colleagues, and my students.
    To give my students and myself choices. I am glad we can choose the professional development we want to attend. It has made a difference on giving me what I need/or am lacking as an educator. To give me new/fresh ideas.
    The way I hope to continue to move forward is to encourage my department to really embrace google drive, and use all that is provides, and to possibly look into twitter.

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  22. I am at the point in my career where apathy tends to settle in. What I got out of this book was the motivation to go back to the me of 10 years ago that was on fire for this job.
    We are switching over to Google Classroom, and while sitting in training, many were lamenting the need to redevelop everything using Google products for maximum compatibility. Instead, I choose to look at it as a good opportunity to go through what I have been doing, and weed out some things that are just "OK" and replace them with better lessons.

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  23. One thing I have focused on this spring while reading Couros has been making assignments more applicable to real life situations. For example, I've shifted assessments in world history to from students having to memorized tons of facts to allowing them to have fact sheets and then applying their knowledge by giving their opinions or writing historical fiction where they cover the events of the past. I've also tried to guide their usage of tech so it looks more like how adults use tech, for example keeping up on the world by browsing The Guardian or the Christian Science Monitor's "Photos of the Day" and commenting on them. Or encouraging my coding class to publish their Hopscotch creations so they can get feedback from other users. Relevance and real world. Incorporating these more often in my class room is how I'm trying to innovate.

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  24. Moving forward, I am trying to put more choice into my lessons. This past week, students and I brainstormed what global issues they wanted to research and how they wanted to present the material to the class. I heard several students note how much fun they had brainstorming and how they couldnt wait to get started on the project. It was a great day to be a teacher for me! With this is mind, I want to continue to give my students a choice in their learning, through content and activities. I also want to help students develop their own voice. Right now I plan on doing that by having them blog about their experiences with historical content and how it relates to today. I want students to know that their ideas and thoughts matter and to gain confidence in doing so.

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  25. After reading this book, I want to put more emphasis on letting the students have even more of a voice and reflecting on both their growth as well as mine. I want to encourage my students to not only have a voice, but to be able to effectively communicate that voice in various forms.
    I want to continue to learn how to utilize technology in a positive, educational way in my classroom. I am intrigued by the use of digital portfolios and want to delve more into the possibility of trying that out with my seniors.

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  26. After reading this book, I am going to sit down and look at some of my lessons and giving the students more choice. I need to always have in my mind....'Would I want to be student in my class?' Going forward, I would like more teachers and administrators read this book. I hope that some of the topics covered could be implemented by many.

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  27. I don't think I can ever say that I have arrived. To me that says that I have mastered everything and I can stop growing. That is obviously something I do not want. I am still new to the teaching game, so their is obviously a lot to learn, but as I read this I was reminded of my Clinical Educator during my student teaching. He was one-year away from retirement, but he was always trying to new things in the classroom and taking risks.
    Going forward I want to offer my students more choice in their learning. At the beginning of every unit I always ask "what is something you want to learn about the region we are going to discuss", but then most of the time I never really implement their ideas and just go on with what I have planned. I am really going to try and take into account some of their ideas.

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  28. When I think about what I am doing to "get there", I am actively trying to get to know my students and what motivates them to achieve in the classroom. For some, it may be technology, but not all students are into technology. Some are truly motivated to achieve the highest possible while others are just happy to pass regardless of what innovative method I may use. I need use innovation to connect the content I teach to my students everyday life.

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  29. We have to move forward and that means taking risks. This morning our Economics teacher Susan Sanders and I rolled out a Performance Based Learning opportunity that our mutual seniors will be working on for the next three weeks. I think we are both terrified! But nothing great comes without risk. We are learning together. Not just her and I, but our students as well. It's a risk worth taking.

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  30. I have really been challenged to restart my blogging again. I have also started to create an online digital portfolio. Also taking advantage of more opportunities like this one to share, learn, and collaborate with colleagues and peers.

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  31. I have really been challenged to restart my blogging again. I have also started to create an online digital portfolio. Also taking advantage of more opportunities like this one to share, learn, and collaborate with colleagues and peers.

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  32. I know I'm moving forward in several ways: learning from our tech PD days, using technology WAY more than ever before personally and professionally, looking forward to my students getting chromebooks next year, etc.. I like the idea on p. 226 where it says "it's not about skill set it's about mindset." Changing our mindset to look for possibilities, rather than for difficulties, can have a positive impact in all areas of our lives.

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  33. Constant innovation is a requirement to teaching. The idea "never arriving" is daunting but also exciting. Every semester and every year I have the opportunity to change my lessons, my assignments and my overall classroom experience. All this change may make me feel uncomfortable and I may run out of ideas, but connecting with or educators and actively searching out innovators will go a long way towards achieving this.

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  34. I am definitely not "there yet," but I'm always working on getting there. This is something I get frustrated with, though, because I like to feel like I've got something just right and in this profession I know there are always ways to improve. So I get down on myself for not being "perfect." However, on the other side of it, I'm thankful I've chosen a profession/career where there is constant change. I find the change and ability to grow professionally refreshing and energizing. As I move forward, it will be important for me to keep a list of goals/ideas to keep me focused since it can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day happenings. This will help provide a foundation with which to compare my progress to ensure that I am moving forward. Also, continuing to connect with other educators through social media, in person, at workshops will also help to generate innovative ideas that I can keep building on.

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  35. I feel like I am always trying to improve, always looking to learn from others and I believe that is something that all teachers want. What we don't have happening in our school is people looking outside of our school walls for learning opportunities. The one quote, "If we create a culture where every teacher believes they need to improve, not because they are good enough but because they can be even better, there is no limit to what we can achieve ." means a lot to what we, as educators, need to strive for. So many of us feel like we don't have enough time, or another excuse for why we don't need to connect with other educators/learners. This is so far from the truth and those teachers aren't working towards becoming even better, not just good enough. I want to champion other teachers to get their voices heard, to learn from others, and to connect around the world. If we want our students to connect and to learn from others, then we need to do the same thing. My hope it to begin the conversation of eportfolios with teachers at our school so we can move away from such a stringent grading system. I will never be "there" because education is always changing, but I can be a champion for new ways of teaching for our students and teachers.

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  36. I was compelled to post again on this section because of how much something on p. 220 hit me. "The basics are important, but we need to go beyond knowing to creating and doing." Teachers have to deal in the basics, and as a coach, fundamentals are critical to future success. This statement caused me to think about how my top athletes then DO move past the basics. They may do that by running the workout faster than the majority, or more to the point, going way above and beyond what the majority does in all areas of their workout routine. This then allows them to excel at a very high level. This helps me see that same correlation in my classroom; once the basics are mastered, my students can then move on to creating and doing, especially where technology is concerned. This "ownership" of their ideas will help both of us as we move forward toward creativity and innovation.

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  37. I'm struggling with how to answer this in a positive way. I feel like as a teacher, I continue find resources, learning, and development to further myself as an educator. After a lesson, I'm looking for ways to make it better, things to tweak, ways to get better results. I don't find that I'm in a culture of change or choice, however. I think that the mindset of a building needs to change and that people need to get on board with doing what is best for the students. I think in today's high pressure testing climate, a lot of teachers feel pressure to stay at the status quo and are not willing to change.
    As a perfectionist, it's hard to know that there is a goal that you will never reach-- is there a perfect teacher? No. But I think what makes an excellent teacher is one who can look for ways to change things when it doesn't go the way it needs to.

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  38. I can definitely see a change in myself as a teacher over the past few years. I think I have moved from just teaching from the book to really thinking about how to make learning meaningful for my students. I think classrooms should be student centered. I had most of my plans pretty much made for the rest of the year and a student asked if we could do the last 26 days with doing something with a letter each day, like the ABC's. I think a few years ago I would've just said "No." and moved on but now I was trying to figure out a way to make it work. We are doing ABC of Indiana History and combining poetry so we will do a letter each day and then a short poem to go along with the topic of the day. The last day of school they will all have a ABC Indiana History poetry book! I am so looking forward to doing this and I know my enthusiasm will spread to the children, and that's a great feeling.

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  39. I can definitely see a change in myself as a teacher over the past few years. I think I have moved from just teaching from the book to really thinking about how to make learning meaningful for my students. I think classrooms should be student centered. I had most of my plans pretty much made for the rest of the year and a student asked if we could do the last 26 days with doing something with a letter each day, like the ABC's. I think a few years ago I would've just said "No." and moved on but now I was trying to figure out a way to make it work. We are doing ABC of Indiana History and combining poetry so we will do a letter each day and then a short poem to go along with the topic of the day. The last day of school they will all have a ABC Indiana History poetry book! I am so looking forward to doing this and I know my enthusiasm will spread to the children, and that's a great feeling.

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  40. One way I would like to continue moving forward is through meaningful assessment. I am intrigued by the idea of a digital portfolio. I think this is something that would not only benefit students, but parents and teachers as well. I think most students would take pride in such a project and it would encourage them to showcase their best work. It is hard for kids to get excited about traditional tests, but portfolios might be a form of assessment that is motivating, interesting, and exciting.

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    1. Hi Christina,
      I agree that digital portfolios would be something that students could own and take pride in. Not only do they teach the digital skills we must learn to integrate into our curriculum to teach the 21st century skills our students will need, but they also provide opportunity for the 8 things we should see in the classroom: voice, choice, reflection, critical thinking, self-assessment, and opportunity for innovation.

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  41. “If you want to see the effectiveness of an educator, you do not look at what the teacher is doing but at the learners whom they serve” (Couros, Ch. 12). As teachers, our voice, passion for our profession, and commitment to our students drive us in the classroom. I know that from this book, I have gained the confidence to keep taking risks in the classroom IF they are good for the students. “It is not about the skill set; it is about the mindset” (Couros, Ch. 12). With the right mindset, teachers can be the superhero in their story: give students the gift of knowledge, connect with other superheros, take risks for the betterment of the classroom, and create a culture of innovation, sharing, and excitement. “If the freedom and opportunity to explore our passions works for us, why wouldn’t it work for them?” (Couros, Ch .12). This is the question we should be asking ourselves everyday as we design lessons, activities, PD, and curriculum to help students achieve their dreams.

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    1. I love that it's all about the mindset, not the skill set. It comes back to the mindset in which we can best help our students learn and grow. Chances are the more we model that for our students, the more we will continue to embrace and model it for ourselves. Students can show us a lot about an educator, just through their willingness to take risks, failures, and successes.

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  42. One of my favorite quotes from this chapter was, "our job as leaders is to make sure that innovation isn't simply a word but a mindset that intentionally and consistently shapes our daily practice" (p.206). It makes me think about how you can talk the talk, but are you truly able to walk the walk. I think one of the biggest things that I continue to strive for and model to my colleagues is that I'm an ongoing learner and I won't ever stop learning because we can always improve and grow. I'm not afraid to take risks and in my coaching role, I continue to model how learning can continue to evolve through innovative thinking without losing sight of best practices. It's a mindset that continually needs worked on and one cannot be afraid to refine and tweak their way of thinking. Showing myself as an ongoing learner and risk-taker only reaffirms my beliefs and philosophies in education today. We have to be willing to celebrate the small wins which will result in an even bigger reward in regards to student/teacher learning. "We must be constantly focused on improving our practice, which means we will never be done innovating, growing, and learning" (p.216).

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  43. "..I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning. And quite frankly, now I’m scared." This quote struck me hard. This was (maybe is still) me. I was great at school. I loved pleasing my teachers and getting As. Tell me what to do and how to do it right and I will. But ask me to create something entirely new, feel proud, and not seek validation from others and I will be frozen with fear. Of all the wonderful, thought provoking stories and quotes in this book, his one shall stick with me the longest. I can only hope now that I find the power to overcome the fear, for nothing more than the possibility that what I might create is a positive change, even if for only one person.

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