Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Mindset Innovator Visits #Engage109

When you haven’t blogged in awhile and the person who inspired you to start blogging visits your school district, you start writing.

George Couros, one of the most inspiring educators out there, visited my school district for our fall institute day. I'm so thankful for this opportunity my district created for all of us. Our day began by hearing George’s keynote. If you’ve never heard George speak in person, it is something I hope you can experience one day. It’s a very special thing. A form of “art”. There will be a roller coaster of thoughts and emotions while you hear him. Some highlights that come to mind from hearing George: fun, engagement, smiles, laughter, tears, thoughts of the past, the present, the future, thoughts of the children you teach inside your classroom, and your own children at home, thoughts of your life, their lives, inspiration to be better for yourself, better for your students, you feel empathy, you embrace who you are and you wonder what you’d like to see yourself attempt, and of course you ponder the notion of being innovative.
It touched my heart to see so many amazing educators in one place moved by George, whether it was their first time hearing him or not. The atmosphere was full of hope by people who care deeply about what they do.

I tried to capture some moments and was sharing them throughout the day on my Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.

George beginning his keynote. 
The Innovator's Mindset (now signed my George). :)
George sharing stories of his beautiful family.
Learning is messy, embrace that!

"We need to make the positives so loud, that the negatives are almost impossible to hear."

Then, this happened...

A special moment for all. This was the first time I witnessed a standing ovation for a speaker in the 16 years I've been in my district. 

George is such a great role-model for innovation. In his book, The Innovator’s Mindset, he says, "education's "why" is to develop learners and leaders who will create a better present and future....and to develop these traits in our people, we must empower them; we must INSPIRE innovation". This, in my opinion, describes George. He inspires and empowers. He is someone who innovates by making you feel like you can do anything you want if you put your heart and mind in the right place. His amazing gift of storytelling and making connections go straight to the heart and mind. And that's why after hearing him speak you learn so much, and become so motivated, empowered, and inspired.

Our selfie with George (courtesy of his awesome selfie-taking skills)
preceding an awesome afternoon conversation with him and middle school colleagues.
I feel thankful to George Couros for inspiring us, for pushing our thinking, for stressing the power of having an “innovator’s mindset” to gain deeper learning and understanding, and for reminding us to help keep the light in our student’s eyes.