Truth be told, in my first few years of teaching, I didn’t completely love my career because I spent an abundance of time focusing on the mandates and considering if I was doing everything “right” according to the opinion of everyone else. My focus was on surviving the pressures of all that accompanies education rather than seizing the opportunities before me to leverage the strengths and interests of our most precious commodity, our youth. And, even though I fostered relationships with learners, it wasn’t to the depth that encouraged responsible risk-taking as I do today. Early on, something seemed to be missing. What I thought education should entail and what was actually happening in school didn’t match up. In looking at the graphic below (the Gallup student poll from Engaged Today – Ready for tomorrow) we can readily notice that our modern learners desperately need us to explore how to take action and then create the conditions to empower learning and get our youth actively involved through authentic experiences.
I knew that I had to make a change. Have you ever felt similar?
As a creative soul, I desired more. I recall wondering, if perhaps, I wasn’t meant to be an educator? However, with time and a few shifts, I realized that my true passion is education and I was exactly what my learners needed.
I believe we all have the potential to shape our lives and bloom right where we are planted. Afterall, we are the authors of our story. In my case, it was all about transforming my approach and creating innovative learning experiences our learners deserve in order to thrive.
Throughout my journey I wondered…
- What if, instead of focusing on what’s wrong, we create the kinds of experiences we desire for ourselves?
- What if, we empower our learners to do the same?
- What if, school was a place that fostered curiosity, creativity, and divergent thinking leading to new possibilities?
My mindset encouraged me to take the L.E.A.P. and I made a conscious decision to create an environment for my learners and I that inspired us to want to be in school and feel genuinely excited to learn, deepening learning as a result.
My book, Take the L.E.A.P.: Ignite a Culture of Innovation,published by IMPress and Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc, which releases on January 5th, 2019, will inspire and support you as you to take steps to grow beyond traditional and self-imposed boundaries. Each of us is capable of cultivating shifts and unleashing both our students and our own inner potential. How do you want to be remembered by students? What legacy do you envision creating?
Educators share that they are striving to:
- Empower the disengaged
- Help navigate impulsivity
- Foster intrinsic motivation
- Develop opportunities for enrichment
- Create dynamic learning experiences
- Identify how to cultivate shifts, inspiring innovative thinking
Our schools ought to be places where students explore, inquire, and unleash creative thinking within a supportive, collaborative environment. Too often, however, they feel more like factories that demand compliance and uniformity—a reality that stifles innovation and leaves students ill-equipped for their futures. The good news is that together, we can help change that as we reimagine learning by sparking curiosity, inspiring creativity, and promoting student agency.
There’s no doubt that educators deeply care about the opportunities provided to learners. Together we can challenge conventional thinking and create the conditions that empower meaningful learning. We can create the #LEAPeffect in our schools by using the acronym as a guiding light.
- L.uminous Culture—Shine a light on every individual’s creative potential.
- E.mpowered Learning—Encourage students to take ownership of their education.
- A.uthenticity in Learning—Tap into passions to create relevant learning experiences.
- P.otential Soars—Ignite a movement of inspired, confident learners.
As we kickoff 2019, let’s join hands and embark on a journey creating new possibilities by taking the L.E.A.P.!
It is our moral imperative to encourage all learners in their journey, too. The time is now to reflect on our past and reimagine our future, creating opportunities to promote learner voice and agency. I am so excited to share my entire message with you on January 5th, 2019. Take the L.E.A.P.: Ignite a Culture of Innovation is filled with practical tips and strategies in addition to questions for discussion so that you can take into consideration the diverse needs of your learners and school community.
Look for updates, opportunities to receive swag, and more by following #LEAPeffect on Social Media!
Are you ready to L.E.A.P.?