Educational Leadership

Playing Slow to Become Better – George Couros – Education Article

I have been trying to play guitar more as of late, and I was watching a video on playing guitar by Paul Davids.  I love listening to his content, and you will see people refer to him as the “Bob Ross of guitar,” and I get the comparison. I often listen to his video to relax and aspire to get better. I was reading the comments in a YouTube video (sometimes it isn’t horrible!), and one comment stuck out to…

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Learning to Learn Beyond the Test – The Principal of Change – Education Article

My good friend Katie Martin, author of “Learner-Centered Innovation,” and I were having a conversation about the importance of focusing on going beyond “test scores” in education and focusing on providing powerful learning opportunities for students.  Standardized tests are a reality of most education systems, and I am not sure they are going away any time soon.  I am not against “tests,” as I have seen educators use them to provide useful feedback to lead to the growth of students,…

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On the Path to “Purpose” – The Principal of Change – Education Article

Just some thinking out loud…I have no idea where this is going, but I am “writing to learn” not only to share my learning. This excerpt from my book, “The Innovator’s Mindset” was just reshared with me on Twitter, and it sparked some of my thinking. An artist had his easel set up on a street when a person walked by and asked how much it would cost to have a portrait drawn. “Fifty dollars,” said the artist. The patron…

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The Fear of Success – The Principal of Change – Education Article

I recently shared this video based on an interaction that I had with a teacher who was sharing about how they felt uncomfortable trying new things.  I wanted to share my thoughts in video form below: Some random thoughts I shared last week on the importance of celebrating those in our buildings and local communities. How do you elevate those across the hallway? #Innovatorsmindset #InnovateinsideTheBox pic.twitter.com/JIhk8O9PWi — George Couros (@gcouros) November 6, 2019 This is not the first time that…

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Surround Yourself With Those that Make You Better – The Principal of Change – Education Article

Katie Novak and I had a chance to discuss some of the concepts from our book, Innovate Inside the Box, on the below webinar with CAST.  It is an hour-long if you are interested in watching it. Here is the full webinar below: Here are a few things that I wanted to highlight from the video: 1. I was asked what my background in UDL was, and my answer essentially, “Katie is my background.” Katie taught me a lot about UDL through…

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Learners Are the Driver of Innovation in Education – The Principal of Change – Education Article

One of the things that I am often asked: ” Is innovation all about technology?”  I can understand why I often receive this question because a lot of times when I am sharing some new ideas with a group, it is while I am using technology.  But my issue is that I am comfortable with technology and don’t think of it much while I am using it.  To me, technology is as much of a factor to the idea of…

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Looking Inward to Move Onward – Education Article

From Katie Martin in “Learner-Centred Innovation“: Just think how you might begin to make the changes and the impact you desire in school if instead of statements like, “If they would have, . . .” you started asking, “How might I…?” This is what is referred to by psychologists as the locus of control or the extent to which people believe they have power to influence events in their lives. A person with an internal locus of control believes that…

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10 Ways to Empower Educators – Education Article

A Principal’s Reflections: 10 Ways to Empower Educators 10 Ways to Empower Educators What motivates you to be your best, take risks, and seek out opportunities to improve?  I’d be willing to wager that there are an array of responses you would give to this question. As such, I am going to try to sum it all up with one word or concept, depending on how you look at the actions that create this feeling.  Empowerment is the secret sauce. …

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The Hidden Gems In Our Schools – The Teacher And The Admin – Education Article

June in New York is a magical time. Trees in full bloom, tomato plants doubling in size by the day, swimming pools opening, and long nights that make it feel as if someone forgot to turn off the lights as the sun burns bright well past dinner.  Neighborhoods come alive with noise, laughter, and friendship. With the promise of a long summer in the not too distant future, it is easy to forget that a few short weeks ago our…

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On Humility and Confidence – The Principal of Change – Education Article

In the article, “Think You’re Wise in Your Own Eyes? 4 Steps to Develop Leadership Humility,” they discuss the importance of humility in leadership.  The article starts with these thoughts: Leaders who are wise in their own eyes seem to be the ones who get the most attention in our world. They’re the outspoken, big personality, larger-than-life characters who always seem absolutely convinced of their own wisdom despite any evidence to the contrary. They capture the news headlines, private equity…

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A Principal’s Reflections: Lead in the Now – Education Article

“When you finally let go of the past, something better comes along.” – Anonymous There are many reasons why we tend to fall back on what we are either comfortable with or have always done.  For one, comfort tends to be the enemy of growth.  In other cases, the fear of failure of the unknown can derail us from taking the needed risks to implement new and better ideas.  Then there is the most dangerous view in education that the…

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A Principal’s Reflections: The Problem With Zeros – Education Article

A Principal’s Reflections: The Problem With Zeros The Problem With Zeros The dreaded zero. For many students, this number elicits a certain amount of fear and anxiety that all assignments are turned in on time. I, for one, felt this way and made sure that everything was turned in when it was due.  Compliance and following rules, even if I didn’t agree with them, were just natural parts of my view of school.  Unfortunately, the effect does not transcend to…

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The Trust Default – The Principal of Change – Education Article

In a recent workshop, I was asked: “Do you think that kids should just be able to bring phones to the classroom whenever they want?” At the end of the answer, I always share that ultimately, the decision should be with the teacher as they know their community the best, but here are some things that I wanted people to consider. If you throw a “device” in the classroom without changing any of the teaching and learning, it will be…

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What We Assess Often Drives Teaching – The Principal of Change – Education Article

Thinking out loud so bear with me… An important question that we should ask often; What is the purpose of school?  Is it a means to an end or is there a bigger purpose? If you “teach to the test,” can some skills be learned in that process? Resiliency? Focus? Dedication? I have seen some posts on social media where the instruction is geared to how we do on exams and things like “pep rallies” getting students psyched up to…

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The Thrill Of Victory And The Agony Of Miscommunication – The Teacher And The Admin – Education Article

“Language can become a screen which stands between the thinker and reality. This is the reason why true creativity often starts where language ends.” ~Arthur Koestler I was feeling a bit dejected. My confidence was suffering as self doubt crept into my mind. It had been a long, yet rewarding month at work that had me working on weekends and long hours during the week. But, this wasn’t what had me down. It was my latest side project. Despite my…

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8 Characteristics of the #InnovatorsMindset (Interview Questions for Administrators) – The Principal of Change – Education Article

  I was asked the following question from Kim Powell on Twitter: @gcouros If you were on an interview committee for HS principal, what questions would you ask to look for an #InnovatorsMindset? Great opportunity to move forward and would love your expertise ! #leadership — Kim Powell (@kimpowelledtech) May 8, 2019 Although I had written a post more focused on interview questions for teachers, I had not done one specific to administrators. Below, I have created questions that might…

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