During the 2015-2016 school year WSD has been lucky enough to have educational leader, and author of The Innovator’s Mindset, George Couros working closely with our staff. The scope of the project is large, spanning 9 months, and 15 full days. During the process George will have addressed our over 2 500 educators in WSD and worked more closely with our leadership groups including: all principals and vice principals, program support staff (consultants & support teachers) and 2 Innovative Teaching and Learning Leaders from each school.
The guiding question of this large scale project is, “How do we move from “pockets of innovation” to a “culture of innovation”? Some more specific learning intentions for the Professional Learning Series Sessions include:
- To define “innovation in education” and the characteristics of an innovative classroom.
- To identify innovative practices in schools using the WSD Principles of Learning.
- To build community and shared understanding.
In recent times with George’s guidance, we have seen a groundswell of enthusiasm around how to improve the learning for our students in ways that are both new and better. We have seen individuals in our division show renewed commitment as “learning leaders” in their roles, looking through the lens of innovation. We as educators have become more connected and clearer in the direction we are moving forward.
Each of George’s sessions in his work with us thus far, have been not only highly engaging but empowering to our staff. Here are some links to Storify stories which better capture the scope of some of our days together (P/VP Storify & ITLL Storify).
As part of the work we are doing with George, and the two Innovative Teaching & Learning Leaders designated from each school, the teachers will be posting to a collaborative blog. This will serve as a space for the ITLL’s to share their thinking and reflect on learning experiences throughout the process. Their first post may highlight reflections and thoughts from their recent session, or it could involve further thinking they may be doing around innovative practices happening within their own classroom, school or beyond. The posts can be written, videos, sketchnotes etc. I look forward to reading the ITLL posts in the upcoming weeks! On top of the ITLL sessions with George, the teachers will also be meeting with our Innovation Support Team for follow up sessions in between and following. We look forward to continuing to learn together and with George! Exciting times ahead in WSD…