This is the first of many reflections I am planning on writing while I am reading The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros (@gcouros). I am only 20 pages into the text and, as usual when it comes to me to George, I am inspired in so many ways. On page 10, George describes the two lessons he learned from his parents. They were restaurant owners who worked hard for everything they accomplished. George describes his admiration for his parents every time he speaks and it always brings me to tears (along with the rest of the audience). They are his inspiration because of the human lessons they taught him.
The first lesson George’s parents taught him was “relationships are at the crux of everything we do.” This aligned so much with my thinking and what I notice when I am working with staff and students as they learn how to learn in a digital world. See, our technology vision doesn’t have its main focus as technology. It is a human centered vision…always. Our goal is to use digital tools to connect humans, not isolate. We want to bring together people and ideas to grow be a community of learners. We want learners to see that they can make a contribution to their classmates, school, teacher, and the world. Relationships are at the heart of all of this. Without the continuous reflection of the relationships that are being built we can have amazing and innovation, but it won’t go very far. Empathy is a critical component of these relationships. We need to see situations and opportunities through the eyes of those we serve. Without it the relationships will stay at the surface.
The second lesson that George’s parent taught him was to be a continuous learner. The journey of learning is never finished. We have to keep going because there is so much more to be discovered. This begins by seeing everyone as someone you can learn from. I walk into every classroom seeing an opportunity to learn from others. This includes staff and students. This week I was in a classroom where a student and I were trying to figure something out. I had to step away and a couple of minutes later the student came up to me and said, “I figured it out!” My response was, “Please show me, I want to learn how to do that.” His face lit up as our roles shifted so naturally. Learning from others is powerful not only for you, but for who you learn from. I have said many times, “Everyone is on a learning journey, I have the honor of being part of it.” I believe that in my heart and head. How can I serve the learning journey of others and continue to learn myself?
I am so excited to continue reading. We are also starting a book club and I am looking forward to building relationships and learn from others. My learning journey continues.