June 10, 2016
During the 2015 NETA conference in Omaha, I attended a keynote and sessions led by George Couros. George is currently Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning with Parkland School Division located in Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada. In addition to being a Division Principal, he is an innovative teaching, learning, and leadership consultant. He is very passionate about distributed leadership and believes that creating a collaborative environment with all stakeholders will help to ensure that we meet the needs of all children. George speaks all over the country spreading his message and inspiring teachers and leaders to inspire our kids to follow their passions.
After being inspired myself by George’s message, I decided to read a copy of the book he authored entitled The Innovator’s Mindset. Upon completion of his book, I felt compelled to reach out to him through Twitter to express my appreciation for what he wrote. He quickly responded to my tweet and asked if I would be willing to write a review of his book. I am including the review I wrote in response to his request.
The Innovator’s Mindset is a must read for educational leaders who desire to change the way they approach learning in today’s schools. George does an astounding job creating an easy read that will light a fire within your soul to become a life-long learner and create an environment for both educators and students to do the same. If you are an aspiring educational leader, George provides you with many examples on how you can unleash the talents in others, create an environment built around creativity and competitive collaboration. I will say this book pushes the envelope in relation to the traditional approach of education.
George suggests encouraging the following things daily in learning for both students and educators: voice, choice, time for reflection, opportunities for innovation, critical thinking, problem solving and self-assessment.
He states in the book, “In Educational Leadership, you will be more successful when you demonstrate to the people you serve that innovation isn’t a command, but is something you are willing to do with your team. Innovation is a mindset-a way of thinking that creates something new & better.”
WOW! If you are willing to empower your staff and give them the ownership in helping lead the direction of your school, then you will find this book to be a great guide in how you might tackle this shift in system-level thinking.
Social media has made connections like this possible and I must say I was beyond flattered that he would ask me to write a review of his book. I feel very fortunate as a Teaching and Learning Coordinator to have multiple opportunities through my work to attend conferences where I can connect and learn from national presenters who are impacting education in a positive way.
-by Dallas Lewandowski, Teaching and Learning Coordinator