That means we must not treat our products as if they are another car coming off the assembly line with every teacher just attaching a new part. In The Innovator's Mindset, George Couros confirms his own belief about such things:
Sometimes it scares me to think that we have taken the most human profession, teaching, and have reduced it to simply letters and numbers. We place such an emphasis on these scores, because of political mandates and the way teachers and schools are evaluated today, that is seems we've forgotten why our profession exists: to change - improve - lives. But, as speaker and author Dr. Joe Martin says so well, "No teacher has ever had a former student return to say a standardized test changed his or her life."
There is no substitute for a teacher who designs authentic, participatory, and relevant learning experiences for her unique population of students. The role of the teacher is to inspire learning and develop skills and mindsets of learners. A teacher, as designer and facilitator, should continually evolve with resources, experiences, and the support of a community. It is becoming increasingly clear that we don't necessarily need to transform the role of teachers, rather create a culture that inspires and empowers teachers to innovate in the pursuit of providing optimal learning experiences for their students.
The growth mindset is crucial in one's openness to learning. But to change education and prepare students for their futures, we need to adopt an innovator's mindset...We must focus on creating something with the knowledge that's been acquired.
The world only cares about - and pays off on - what you can do with what you know (and it doesn't care how you learned it).
I believe that the majority of educators want to create engaging and effective learning experiences for their students to achieve the desired learning goals. No teacher wakes up in the morning and says, "I can't wait to go to school and be mediocre!"
I want to innovate, but there are also times when life, health, and age get in the way. Mr. Couros is probably correct right when he says no teacher pursues mediocrity, but sadly there are many who never innovate or even change. Many refuse to make advances or study new methods or even consider new content.
Through almost three decades, my classroom has changed tremendously. While much of the content has remained the same, every year has been one of change. No two years have been alike. My principals at the beginning of my career would be hard-pressed to find similarities in my approaches or abilities. I suppose that comes with age and experience, but it also comes with the desire to always improve and become more effective. I might describe that desire to innovate as both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because it drives me forward, but a curse because it does not allow me to ever feel satisfied that I have arrived at my destination. I am constantly looking forward to those mountains in the windshield, and even though I can look in the rearview mirror and see the great distances I have traversed, those mountains remain a distant goal looming before me.