This week, one of our National Association of Agricultural Educators Virtual Book Club activities included this prompt:
“As we finish Chapter 3 and Part I, Couros identifies what he considers to be the characteristics of an innovator’s mindset. He narrows it down to eight. Based on your answers from the discussion posts from the last two weeks, do you agree with those eight? Are there any others that would add? Before we can build our classroom’s innovation, or even our department’s mindset, we have to think about how we personally think about innovation. Keeping that in mind, you will be ranking the eight characteristics based on how you feel they relate to your teaching. In other words, which characteristic is your strongest point? What do you innovatively do well? Now, this isn’t a direct 1-8 ranking. If you feel that resilience and empathy are your weakest, put them both at the bottom next to each other. This is your scale, so “rank” them however you would prefer.
After you have “ranked” them, please add text boxes to explain why the characteristics are placed where they are. You can add one text box next to explain everything, or one box next to each characteristic. Feel free to add other characteristics if you think there should be more/different than the eight.
Upload your document to the book club.You can take a picture of the slide and post it to social media too, just be sure to use #naaereads!“
(As an aside, if you are curious what the eight are, you can read Couros’ blog post about them)
As I prepared my response, I decided to be a risk taker and put my fairly non-existent artistic skills to the test. This little bit of sketching was actually inspired by my recent read of “Visual Note-Taking for Educators: A Teacher’s Guide to Student Creativity.” Before I started to add the textual part to my answer, I had a fairly decent looking juggler of traits with the arm muscles representing the date it was created. Then as I added the reflective bits, the image got a bit crowded. Once done creating, I realized that one of the concepts of innovators was networking and just recently I wrote about “needing” to blog more, so sharing this image and response was a perfect way for me to put action to those ideas.
Thinking about how or if I have those traits and which of them were my greatest strengths provided the opportunity for some reflection about my own teaching practice. I think the real question now comes with what I will do to help build up some of those areas I saw to be lower in my strengths, such as empathy.
It’s almost like the internet stalks me to help me find the answers! Or was a simply using my observant trait? Although I created this reflection on paper, shortly after it was done, a Peardeck email was in my mailbox focusing on “Building Empathy.”