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  • Writer's pictureBrad Gay

Covid-19 lessons with George

We live in strange times and as we head to level three lockdown things are certainly going to get stranger! To tell you the truth I’m a little worried about my principal colleagues, (I gave up calling them clients a long time ago, they are way more important to me than that!), they are dealing with a constant barrage of information overload from Ministry, well-meaning consultants(I’m one after all!), parental questions, teacher questions etc.

This week I have been re-reading George Couros’ book innovators mindset. It was interesting revisiting some of his key concepts. First off, leading with an innovators mindset according to George requires a leader to be:

  1. Visionary

  2. Empathetic

  3. Models Learning

  4. Open Risk-Taker

  5. Networked

  6. Observant

  7. Team Builder

  8. Always Focused on Relationships

In our current Coivd-19 world these leadership strengths have certainly become vital. It also gives an insight into the array of skills a leader needs in this current environment. Without trusted colleagues to bounce ideas off this can become even harder. I have been impressed with the support the PLG’s I run has provided for Principals during this time.

I then went on to read George’s take on what you should look for in a modern-day classroom.

8 things to look for in today’s classroom

  1. Voice

  2. Choice

  3. Time for Reflection

  4. Opportunities for Innovation

  5. Critical Thinkers

  6. Problem Solvers/Finders

  7. Self-Assessment

  8. Connected Learning

Once again it struck me that these skills/attributes are exactly what our learners need to survive and thrive in a remote learning environment.

I then went on to read about making decisions for our programmes and I made me think about what the Ministry and government are asking of Principals in a level three lockdown environment. Aside from the reality check of our schools been seen as advanced baby sitters for essential workers. It struck me that if we used George’s simple four questions we may be making better decisions for our learners.

  1. What is best for kids?

  2. How does this improve learning?

  3. If we were to do ____________, what is the balance of risk vs. reward?

  4. Is this serving the few or the majority?

So there you have it. I highly recommend going back and reading this book or buying it. I have just ordered his new book “Innovate inside the box.” Keep strong and look after yourselves first.


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