The Mindset of an Innovator

    The notion of the “Innovator’s Mindset”, and what it actually looks like, is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately.  The more I dig into the topic, the more I believe that this should be the norm in education.  Innovation is not something new to education, but it is something that we can do better.  The access to people and information changes a lot of the opportunities that are available both for students and educators, which calls for all of those being involved in education to see ourselves as learners.
    As I thought about this, I wanted to write some statements on what this means, and what it looks like in our world today, ultimately leading to one statement for myself.  This is what I came up with:
    I am an educator.
    I am an innovator.
    I am an innovative educator and I will continue to ask “what is best for learners”.  With this empathetic approach, I will create and design learning experiences with that question as a starting point.
    I believe that my abilities, intelligence, and talents can be developed, leading to the creation of new and better ideas.
    I recognize that there are obstacles in education, but as an innovator, I will focus on what is possible today and where I can push to lead towards tomorrow.
    I will utilize the tools that are available to me today and I will continue to search for new and better ways to continuously grow, develop and share my thinking, while creating and connecting my learning.
    I focus not only on where I can improve, but where I am already strong, and I look to develop those strengths in myself and in others.
    I build upon what I already know, but I do not limit myself to myself. I’m open to and willing to embrace new learning, while continuously asking questions to move forward.
    I question thinking, challenge ideas, and do not accept “this is the way we have always done it” as an acceptable answer for our students or myself.
    I model the learning and leadership I seek in others. I take risks and try new things to develop and explore new opportunities. I ask others to take risks in their learning, and I openly model that I’m willing to do the same.
    I believe that isolation is the enemy of innovation, and I will learn from others to create better learning opportunities for others and myself.
    I connect with others both locally and globally to tap into ideas from all people and spaces. I will use those idea along with my professional judgement, to adapt the ideas to meet the needs of the learners in my community.
    I believe in my voice and experiences, as well as the voice and experiences of others, as they are important for moving education forward.
    I share because the learning I create and the experiences I have help others. I share to push my own thinking, and to make an impact on learners, both young and old, all over the world.
    I listen and learn from different perspectives, because I know we are much better together than we could ever be alone. I can learn from anyone and any situation.
    I actively reflect on my learning, as I know looking back is crucial to moving forward.
    I am an educator.
    I am an innovator.
    I am an innovative educator and I will continue to ask “what is best for learners”.  With this empathetic approach, I will create and design learning experiences with that question as a starting point.
    This is meant to be more of a process of my own thinking, as opposed to a finished product.  But going through this process made me realize that similar to how we are dropping the word “digital” off of many terms (digital leadership, digital citizenships, etc.) because it is becoming invisible and just implied, will we get to the point where what we see as being “innovative” simply become the norm in what we do in education?  Is there anything above that is out of the realm for any educator?  I hope not.

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