Tuesday, September 13, 2016

When Was the Last Time You Tried Something New?

I like to think of myself as an innovative person.  As an educator, I feel like it comes with the territory.  I love Twitter and read books often (Thank you #SixtyBooks challenge!)  but I can't really think of the last thing that I tried that was really brand new to me.

This reflection makes me feel like a bit of a hypocrite because in many of my roles, my responsibility is to get people to create, innovate, explore, and dive headfirst into the future.  As a mom, I am always pushing my young sons to try something new, take a risk.  "Here honey, try a pea." "Yes, you can dive in without your swimmies."  "I bet you can climb to the top of the rock wall. Go for it!"   But, when have I done the same?

As an assistant superintendent, I rally our principals to be forward-thinkers and lead with no limits. Collectively, we are working hard to move our district in the right direction.  I push them often to think through a different lens and get uncomfortable.  How often do I?

With our teachers, we are challenging them to "think outside the box". Scratch that.  We want them to jump out of the box, smash the box, and design a better one!  I always thought my attitude towards learning demonstrated that, but what have I done lately to prove it?

This week I decided to get involved in some innovative professional development of my own focused on the Innovator's Mindset by George Couros.  I joined the #IMMOOC and am excited to participate in all that this journey has to offer.  I also joined a Voxer group (So, it may not sound risky to some, but it is brand new to me.)  Thanks to some encouragement from Twitter friends, I sent out my first Vox.  It is becoming my routine that I listen to all the other participants on my commute to work and from work each day.  It has been so interesting already (we are only a few days in) to hear from folks all over the country and beyond!

Trying something new will not only help me to learn and grow as a professional, but I believe it will put me in the right frame of mind to continue to try new things in both my personal and professional life.  I look forward to the opportunity to connect with other educators around the idea of innovation and who knows--maybe I'll even try Brussels sprouts!