Continued Learning · Innovation plan

Purpose, Process, Results…

This semester I am digging deeper into leading organizational change, and we began with an analysis of my purpose for wanting to influence a change in my professional environment. Along with identifying my WHY (purpose), I am also identifying the process or how I wish to accomplish my goals, and what I am trying to achieve.

Here is the breakdown….

Why -To provide public school students with a quality education that prepares them to live in a technology integrated world.

How – Design lessons and classrooms to support a student-centered learning environment. 

What – Use new tools to provide new experiences for students. This will also promote higher level thinking that stretches beyond the classroom. 

Most of my colleagues do not have a sense of urgency in regards to changing their classroom culture. Change is a very difficult concept. Even when people understand that change is necessary, putting the concept into motion is a challenge. Before I can even think about getting to that point, I have to remind myself that I am starting from scratch. Right now, my focus is how do I establish a sense of urgency within my professional environment? It’s an environment where so much is already asked from the teachers. Every day we are faced with more demands, yet the hours in our day stay the same. Teachers feel over worked and underappreciated. Creating the sense of urgency without increasing their level of anxiety will not be an easy task. Thankfully I know that the head won’t go where the heart hasn’t already been.

At the heart of every teacher is their passion to make others aware of their full potential. Reminding teachers of our WHY, will not be difficult because this already lies within them. I know this is step 1 to establishing a sense of urgency. We all have the desire to provide all students with a quality education, regardless of their disadvantages. Integrated technology falls within that definition as well and I believe my colleagues have never had this perspective before. If I can find a way to communicate that integrating technology will prepare our students to live in a technology driven world then, I know they would see the urgency.

Previously designed lessons that include student samples, video tutorials, and teacher reflections will be significant in reducing the amount of anger or frustration that comes along with new ideas. Modeling HOW to use modified lessons to create a learner-centered environment should also help ease any negativity.

A system for continuous PD will be a great way to demonstrate WHAT to use inside the classroom. New tools can provide new experiences for students in a way that will allow them to make meaningful connections in the real world. Dr. John Kotter’s video Leading Change:Establish a Sense of Urgency is an excellent resource for creating a solid foundation for organizational change.


Dr. John Kotter. Leading Change: Establish a Sense of Urgency [Video file]. (2013, August 15). Retrieved from


Continued Learning

Power of a Growth Mindset

Having a growth mindset is pretty significant for me. Unlike other professional learning ideas, I actually agree with this way of thinking wholeheartedly. Perhaps I have already been practicing this without even knowing. A mindset has the ability to build or destroy a person’s success. It’s all about the perspective that you have. It sounds pretty simple but in reality it can be challenging to sustain.

The growth mindset is important because it is the pathway to becoming a life learner. It’s about seeing situations as learning opportunities. Where growth and success are interchangeable. According to Dr. Carol Dweck, the most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point.

I realize the impact this will have on my learners and coworkers, which is why I feel a tremendous amount of pressure to plan and develop my approach. This idea has the capacity to revolutionize public education.

I see an opportunity to develop a UbD lesson plan for teaching the Growth Mindset to my students. It is imperative to introduce this at the beginning of the year to give my students a good foundation in preparation for an innovative classroom. I originally thought that actions were key to creating a culture of significant learning, but now I understand that the mindset is the most important factor. Familiarizing my students with the growth mindset will ensure success for my innovation plan

My Plan for adopting a growth mindset at my school:

Step 1: Introduce the Growth Mindset

Initiating a discussion from this Khan Academy video which describes how our brains are like muscles. We are capable of increasing our intelligence when we are faced when we expose ourselves to new challenges.

Step 2: The Power of Choice

This entails recognizing that with each obstacle, criticism, or setback comes a choice of how to respond.  Communicating to my learners that they actually have a choice with how to respond to each challenge.


Step 3: Making a positive connection to the growth mindset.

As mentioned in my learning philosophy, learning is an active process which must be endured over time. This is why modeling or “thinking out loud” will be practiced heavily for the first few months. I will share a story with my learners about when my perspective shifted from fixed to growth. It is imperative for learners to recognize the different mindsets in their own lives to form a positive connection.

“Think about a time when you might have had a fixed mindset perspective.(Failing a test, practicing for basketball but still losing a game, struggling with math problems). If you could go back in time, how could you change your way of thinking?”

Step 4: Practice What we Preach

Presenting learners with opportunities to practice the language of “not yet” and thinking of a growth mindset will be ongoing. As we approach challenges with our flipped learning model, I will use those opportunities to guide students when they begin to react in a fixed mindset way. I will guide them into reflecting on their responses to the new challenges which will allow them to build grow in their abilities.  By the end of the year, learners will create videos (learning environment outline) to inform other about the benefits of adopting a fixed mindset. 3bdd1d2143b1f2aa0b144fd676e3cefb


MINDSET. Dweck, Carol (2006). Retrieved September, 2016, from


Continued Learning

My Learning Philosophy

I have always been intrigued by the reality of my non-traditional means of “learning”. What I really mean by “learning” is being able to master a test on the first try. As a high school student, I remember everyone around me preparing for final exams by participating in late night cramming sessions. This seemed like the norm at the time so I also carried on this tradition for many years. One of my most kept secrets is that even though I’d crammed for a test for a few nights in a row, I would never really earn an “A”. Can you imagine my frustration? Surely I wasn’t alone. This formula seemed to serve others well, yet almost every time I went through the intense studying process I would be just borderline successful; (meaning B’s-C’s).

Was I not studying as long?  Was I not a fast enough reader?  Or perhaps I was a horrible test taker? Yes, I entertained these thoughts for several years until I almost accepted the idea of just not having what it takes to be a high achieving student. Until I encountered my algebra II teacher in high school. She noticed that I was a struggling math student and decided to collaborate with me daily. At the end of a lesson, she would sit with me and initiate a conversation about my math struggles. We would practice strengthening these shortcomings together.  We did this daily for months and soon I began to notice that every assessment I took in her class resulted in an “A”. Never did I once study for an exam yet I managed to always be prepared. The only explanation for me being able to excel on these assessments for that entire year is that I was actively engaged and learning.

I would like to introduce my abstract definition of learning based on my experiences and then break this down further.

Learning is a short, precise moment in time where barriers, walls, and reservations are suspended and true engagement holds the door open for information to convert into new skills, experiences, and impressions which spark a purpose within a student and gives them a desire to want to remain invested and inspire others.

How do I apply this philosophy?  Well my career in education began in 2011 and since then I have tried to formulate a recipe for successful learning. If I can create an environment for students to be invested in the information that I am helping them discover, then I would be facilitating genuine learning.  Here are the categories that I believe need to take place in order for learning to be successful.

  • Learning is a process, not a product. Progress and ability are more significant than a numeric grade.
  • Learning must be active and not passive. Creating, manipulating, collaborating is essential.
  • Learning endures over time: new information must be distributed and practiced over time in order for it to be effective.
  • Learning is not always predetermined, it can take place anywhere.


Clark, R. (2002). Six principles of effective e-learning: What works and why.The e-Learning Developer’s Journal, 1-10.

Learning theory: Models, product and process. (2015). Retrieved September 01, 2016, from

Montell, G. (2007). What’s Your Philosophy on Teaching, and Does it Matter?. Chronicle, 11, 14.

Ambrose, S. A., Bridges, M. W., DiPietro, M., Lovett, M. C., & Norman, M. K. (2010). How learning works: Seven research-based principles for smart teaching. John Wiley & Sons.

Schunk, D. H. (1996). Learning theories. Printice Hall Inc., New Jersey.