Friday, November 15, 2013

Applying Entrepreneurial Thought To Education #coffeechugPLN

I was recently finishing up another magazine that I wanted to share out some ideas.

Inc. 32nd Annual Fastest Growing Private Companies in America 9.2013

Below are some thoughts that emerged while I read the articles.

1. Eric Paley (page 60) "The Myth of the Perfect Product"
Don't wait until your product is perfect to build your business. You will be waiting forever.

I love thinking of this statement in education. As my building moves to Project Based Learning I think one of the issues we are running into (there are several) is that we (educators) think the project must be perfect, completely laid out, with precision details mapped out each day. We cannot just go and wing it, but we have to take an idea, build a framework, infuse it with passion and excitement, and run with it. Sometimes we have to just go and see how it develops and through the journey of learning we will find out what really works best. I really think that our lessons and projects should be just as much as learning for ourselves as educators as much as the students. We need to continue to improve our instruction and lessons, but we cannot wait for a perfect lesson because it will never exist and we will sit idle all day long.

2. As we rethink education, we have to sometimes develop an entrepreneur approach. When we think as an entrepreneur we cannot forget that this can create anxiety and some stress. Things will fail. Things will not work. You will make mistakes.

And it is okay.

The goal here is the process. The goal is to stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone boundaries and explore what you are really capable of achieving. Through the ups and downs we have to be careful not to let it consume us completely. Give time for breaks and rest. Do something different for a fresh perspective. Never give up!

It makes me think of our robotic teams. They start off super excited when building and designing their new robots. Then they hit a wall when their plans don't work and they cannot think their way through any other ideas. At this point we move to something different - our research project. We take a break. Year after year they come back to the robot with a whole new fresh perspective and make up so much ground by just getting away from it all. In the end, things just fall into place.

It is not that we give up, but understanding the ebb of flow of creativity and innovation and the process of acting upon it.

3. I just love this title. For me, I think in education we have to allow teachers to have full autonomy in their classroom. It is the duty of the teacher to then deliver high quality learning opportunities. If we provide teachers with freedom to teach, then we must be prepared for the valid criticism when we are not delivering. I feel that often times we sugar coat too much in education. We need to be strong enough to receive constructive feedback when we are not doing as good of a job as we can be. We expect our students to constantly take in feedback that tells them they are far from perfect. Why can't educators be held to the same standard? We all make mistakes. We all have weaknesses. They key is to become aware and work on it. Don't pout. Don't whine. Get a backbone and challenge yourself to improve.

And just like my design series, there will be a Part 2 to this series.

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