Innovate Inside the Box: Empowering Learners Through UDL and the Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros with Katie Novak

Part 3 – You Are the Change You Seek

  • 13.Lead From Where You Are: The authors expect that their readers are already doing great things and they encourage you to share what you are doing. Know that whoever you are that you can influence others. Focus on: 1. Ask how what you are doing impacts students. 2. Model the change you want to see in others. 3. Show people that you understand the value of what they are already doing. 4. Stories are powerful. Be sure you tell your best.
  • The fast-changing world means that we should view innovation as necessary. Arguments against change include 1. The inflexibility of the curriculum. It should tell you what to teach, not how to teach it. 2. We need to teach to the tests. The authors believe that if you follow their advice that your students will do just as well if not better on the state tests. 3. Time is always a factor when change is expected, but if you make something a priority it will get done. 4. A lack of training shouldn’t be an issue as if you want to learn something badly enough, you can do that.
  • 14. You Are the Core: It’s important that administrators view mental health struggles the same way they view physical health struggles. George tells of a time he had a mental breakdown and how his boss understood, told him to take some time, and treated him as if nothing happened when he returned. Not asking for help is a sign of weakness and it is vital that you take care of yourself.
  • Listen when people need to be heard and give advice when they ask for it. Even veteran teachers have bad days and it’s ok to cry in front of others. It makes you more relatable. Be sure to take breaks. Focussing on growth all the time can burn you out. Make people laugh, think, and cry and don’t forget to inspire yourself. Thanks, George and Katie.
  • George Couros

    • George has worked at all levels of K-12 education as a teacher, technology facilitator, principal, and district administrator. He is a sought after speaker on the topics of innovative leadership and student learning and empowerment. He is also the author of the best selling book The Innovator’s Mindset. You can read my summary of that book here. You can connect with Gorge on his blog and follow him on Twitter @gcouros.

    Katie Novak

    • Katie Novak, EdD is an internationally renowned education consultant as well as a practicing leader in education as an Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Massachusetts. She has sixteen years of experience in teaching and administration, a doctorate in curriculum and teaching, and is the author of five books. Katie designs and presents workshops both nationally and internationally focusing on the implementation of her Universal Design for Learning (UDL) system, building effective systems that work for all learners, and universally designed leadership. She is a mother of four and can be reached at or on Twitter @KatieNovakUDL.
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