A great list of questions for the innovative educator from George Couros (The Innovator’s Mindset, 2015), no doubt:
- Would I want to be a learner in my own classroom?
- What is best for this student?
- What is this student’s passion?
- What are some of the ways we an create a true learning community?
- How did this work for our students?
But for me, and this is a recent trend, is asking why. Why would I want to be a students in this classroom? Why is this best for my students? Why is the student passionate about ____? Why did this work for the students?
By asking why, I am helping determine a purpose. Perhaps I’m even questioning what I perceive as the purpose.
By asking why, I am being reflective from the start. Reflection doesn’t need to happen only as a summative task. It should happen throughout the process.
By asking why, I am establishing a very different culture in my classroom. What, where, and how questions often lead to surface responses. But by asking why, the entire learning community can begin to dig deeper into our own learning, our own practice, our own sense of being and doing.
Thankfully, I’m still asking about my own why even after 19 years of teaching. And still I don’t have an answer and hope that I never do. My why might become clearer or it might change completely.
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
– Simon Sinek (TEDxPuget Sound, 2009)
So what’s your why or do you not know yet? Why is your why your why? Why haven’t you figured out your why?