Thursday, September 14, 2017

Risk-takers and Changemakers

As educators we know the importance of growth as we prepare this generation of learners to be a generation of innovators and leaders. Growth requires change. And both require a willingness to learn and even some risk-taking. 

Risk-taking... does this mean we have to try skydiving, bungee jumping, scuba diving, or surfing to demonstrate our growth mindset?

Nope. Although I'd love to see pictures of your adventures if you try these things.

Just try something different.  Shake things up a bit. Step away from your "norm" just a little... or a lot. 

Just like our students, we are all unique. We have different learning styles and we grow at different rates. The key is... that growth is occurring, and as we grow, we make changes. 

Back-to-school is a very busy time. As I have visited the schools I serve over the past few weeks, I have been inspired by teachers who are trying new things- taking risks and making changes- in the busyness of the new school year. 

I am excited to see teachers (both new and veteran) give "flexible seating" a try. I love that each teacher made the seating adventure their own and developed a plan for student success that is working for all. These teachers are risk-takers and changemakers.

I've been in several classrooms where morning worksheets are being replaced with STEM or creation activities that students choose based on their interests. I think it's fabulous that teachers are offering empowering learning experiences for students. These teachers are risk-takers and changemakers.

It's encouraging to see and hear about teachers bringing parents into the classrooms, both physically and virtually. iPhone/iPad apps allow real time information sharing about classroom activities.  Teachers are creating Google Forms to record parent contacts and sharing the awesomeness that is happening in their classrooms through county social media channels. These teachers are risk-takers and changemakers.

Many teachers were brave enough to apply for a new position in their school or in another school. Others are stepping into leadership roles, taking college classes, or seeking out other professional learning opportunities. They are role models for their students. They're demonstrating that we should never stop learning because life never stops teaching. These teachers are risk-takers and changemakers.

Teachers are trying new strategies; some with baby steps and some with giant leaps. Either way is perfect if it works for them and their students.  They are integrating technology in meaningful ways. They are personalizing learning and giving students opportunities to create and problem solve in innovative ways. They are using formulas in spreadsheets and analyzing data in new ways. These teachers are risk-takers and changemakers.

I'm sure you're taking risks and making changes. I encourage you to share with the world (or even just your neighbor across the hall) what you are trying and how it's working.  I promise someone will be inspired when they hear your story. 

And when you see those risk-takers and changemakers doing their thing, let them know that you noticed and that their commitment to the students they serve is appreciated.   

We expect our students to learn and grow daily. Let's lead the charge! 

Go ahead take some risks and make some changes that will benefit the world!

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