The first time around, I got the book late and didn’t have my blog up yet, so my experience was limited to mostly “lurking” (i.e. reading what others had to say). I was also reading the book in as many spare minutes as I could find. The Innovator’s Mindset is a great read. But when it came to everyone’s blog posts, I have to admit that I lost interest. Too many of them seemed too similar or just talked about what was already in the book. I saw the same quotes over and over again. It made sense as people were responding to what they read, but I couldn’t get into the idea of taking somebody else’s words and writing about them. I wanted action!
Despite this, I felt guilty for not being a more active participant. I felt like maybe I was letting myself down. Then I read this amazing blog post about an experience that came out of IMMOOC. This is what I wanted to be a part of. With this in mind, I gave myself permission to let go of the responding to all the blog posts as long as I was taking steps to become more like the educator that I want to be. I went after it. I went to EdCamp, loved it, made a bunch of local humans who also think with Innovative Mindsets, and found the confidence to take some next steps. I set up my blog. I tried cool things when I had the chance. I found other books that would make good supplements to The Innovator’s Mindset. I grew as an educator, and more importantly, as a person.
This time through, I have already read the book. I am one of the veterans of the group. I got my blog going around the end of November or early December and have some experience with writing posts. But for some reason, I still can’t seem to find a way to respond to the prompts or participate in the “normal” expected way. I still don’t get excited about sharing what the book means to me. I do, however, continue to try out new things in my class that I’m hoping will work for my students. When I do, I try to share in a timely fashion, although I can admit that there are a couple of posts still brewing from the last couple months. I very much put relationships first to the best of my abilities (I think that’s this week’s topic?), I put in my very best effort to be innovative in my approach to what I am teaching (is it innovative to take interesting ideas that you have found elsewhere and put your own spin on them?), and I try to embody the innovator’s mindset, while being careful to hang on to the good stuff from what is already out there.
So #IMMOOC friends, I may be terrible at responding to the regular IMMOOC prompts and suggestions, but I am out there doing my best to live the mindset that we read about and discuss. I am growing a Professional Learning Network of incredible and inspiring teachers, both near and far, have learned about some awe-inspiring and innovative ideas of how to bring the world to my students through the power of technology (and the helpful guest speakers of #DitchSummit), and look forward to continuing to learn and grow with you, if in a rather unconventional way.