What a powerful message George Couros’s gives in his article “The mindset of an innovator.” I literally started talking to myself, wrote down quotes and agreed out loud with his philosophy. Like George Couros I believe that I am an innovator. I never knew that my personal thoughts and philosophies could be labeled as innovative before reading this article. The reason I have returned to college is to develop better ideas on how I can reach more students. I want to inspire kids to LOVE learning. I want my students to learn in an environment that considers their individual needs, abilities, and talents. My favorite paragraph in the article was “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”. As a preschool teacher I have embraced the idea that every year I will develop my lesson plans based on the needs of my students. Never have I had a set of identical students and I can’t expect that the lessons plans from the previous year will be suitable for the next. I love the idea of taking risks, trying new things, and exploring new opportunities and seeking the advice from others. For me being innovative is engaging young students in learning. What can I provide them that will encourage them to want to interact and engage in what I am teaching?
As a college student I appreciate that I have had opportunities to be recognized as an individual and encouraged to share and express myself differently than my peers. I feel that I have been able to learn from my classmate’s experiences. We are all fulfilling the assignments but we have freedom to be unique in our approaches. I learned so much from my classmates Independent learning projects and tweets. I never believed in “internet connections” before, but I would have to say this class has made me feel connected to a group Of strangers because we are all participating in a learning goal.
Something that has shocked me about this class is how comfortable I have felt sharing my emotions, ideas, and experiences with total strangers. I looked over my blog posts today and couldn’t believe that my “bottled up self” was able to open my cap and share. (I have been on Facebook for years and haven’t come close to sharing this much about myself). Part of me wonders if I was motivated because I want to be a successful student (Striving for an A) or is it because I have never been encouraged to be creative before in blogging, tweeting, telling stories, daily creates, etc. Did this class help me develop a “Charity” I didn’t know existed… (I am thinking it did!)
I also think that my fear of failure has been challenged by this course. I am a bit of a perfectionist and don’t like to try things if I think that I will “mess-up or fail”. This course has provided enough structure yet a feeling that I could actually try new things. I literally chuckle when I think of how scared I was of the daily creates. My fear has been replaced with excitement. Instead of worrying I try to be innovative and find a way to create. I love that my creates don’t have to look like others work, what I create isn’t critized. I have learned so much from others and have expanded my technology skills, more than I could have ever imagined. Today I used Canva to make my daughter a poster for her room. It was so simple! Before I would have shopped it or had a poster created for her. This class has empowered me to TRY!
This class has also helped me “unlearn” that I can connect to strangers and learn from them. I was pretty close minded o the idea of blogging and tweeting at the beginning of this class. I didn’t feel that it was necessary to develop a Personal learning network. (Boy was I wrong!) In the last eight weeks I have expanded my resources beyond anything I could have imagined. I now have a network that is helping me be the best teacher I can be! I also feel that I “unlearned” that I can self-direct my own learning by trying things. I was encouraged to try technology that I felt I would never be able to understand.
As I prepare my classroom for the 2016-2017 school year, I will be trying something I have never had before….. A classroom Blog! I want to start a classroom blog to meet the needs of my preschool parents. I want to have a place that they can come to for resources, glimpses in our classroom, and a place to connect with other parents. I plan to share some of the resources I have learned about this semester with them. Just yesterday I sent out an email asking parents to create a “get to know me” letter/poster about their child. (I included the Canva link for parents as an option in creating. I am excited to see if anyone uses it.) This has been a semester of growth for me personally. I know longer feel digitally challenged.