Innovation begins and ends with empathy.

Innovation begins and ends with empathy.  -George Couros

Why do we innovate?  Do we innovate just to do something differently?  Is different always better?

Do we innovate to use technology?  Does innovation require technology as a component?

Do we innovate to cure boredom?  Kids today can’t learn “the old way” so we do something new?

I would contend that we innovate to make life better.  We make changes, we live our growth mindset, because we see opportunities for improvement.  We innovate with the understanding of how it makes others feels . . . we innovate to improve the lives of those we serve.

We need to make the positive so loud that the negatives are almost impossible to hear.

We need to make the positive so loud that the negatives are almost impossible to hear.  – George Couros

Society today requires public educators to have a positive growth mindset.  We have an increasingly challenging role in our communities, but we embrace the challenge with the belief we are making a positive difference.  We are changing lives . . . we are shaping the future.

It is imperative that we tell our story, that we share our narrative.  We can’t continue to permit negative forces to create the narrative of public education.  We control our message, our brand, and our communications.  Be intentional and embrace the Power of the Team to proudly share the good news.

Celebrating the positive doesn’t mean we ignore areas for improvement; living a growth mindset also means constant reflection and improvement.  We listen to concerns and we analyze our performance.  We live our value to Pursue Excellence; we embrace the productive discomfort of change.  We share the positives, reflect on areas of improvement, and commit to our purpose as we prepare every student to be Ready for Tomorrow.

A teacher affects eternity; they can never tell where their influence stops.

A teacher affects eternity; they can never tell where their influence stops.  – Henry Adams

As Teacher Appreciation Week draws to a conclusion, I would be remiss to pass on the opportunity to celebrate the effect of our amazing, talented teachers.

Think for a moment about your favorite, most influential teachers.  Reflect on the way these professionals motivated you to be more, on the way these teachers fueled your passion to be the best version of you.

Teachers push us to our edge . . . then show us we can achieve more.  Teachers inspire us to dream . . . then provide the skills to make each dream a reality.  Teachers build our confidence and model a growth mindset.  Teacher demonstrate that failure isn’t the end, but merely an opportunity to learn and grow.

Take time today to thank a teacher.  Google that individual who made a difference and surprise them with an email.  We live in a digital era, but computers will never replace the talented, dedicated teachers that create the future . . . one student at a time.