Be More Dog

For the past 5 summers I’ve been the tech troubleshooter for my district’s summer school campuses. This year I decided to take a break from everything, including blogging, Twitter and Facebook. I picked up several books (real honest to goodness books made from paper) that I had been meaning to read for a while and got busy. The first was The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros. I didn’t even get past chapter 1 without reactivating my Twitter account to reengage in my PLN. It was that inspiring. Then on page 6, George recommends viewing a commercial from O2 titled “Be More Dog”. Let me save you the trouble of looking it up. 

This video resonated with me in so many ways. It made me think about the reaction of other cats had they been in this video as well. What would they have been thinking, saying, or doing in response to this one particular cat who wants to “be more dog”? Then I thought about the metaphor it represents. When you have one teacher on a campus that is looking at educating students from an entirely different perspective, how do the other teachers on that campus react? Do they embrace this change of mindset and try to emulate the behavior, or do they snub their noses at the thought and “remain a cat”? (Don’t get me wrong, I love cats)

This is where I find the whole educational system so frustrating. On page 5, George writes,

“Compliance does not foster innovation. In fact, demanding conformity does quite the opposite.” ~ The Innovator’s Mindset, George Couros

This quote, I think, was aimed toward students. However, I’m looking at it from the perspective of the district/teacher relationship. I see districts demanding conformity from educators and almost punishing those that strive to grow and try new tools, strategies, or techniques that don’t come from central office. Now, I must confess that I have not finished the book because I felt so compelled to get back on the Internet to begin this discussion. I’m sure he goes into great detail about how to accomplish this paradigm shift, but I still want to ask these questions: How does a school or district move towards an innovator’s mindset when faced with opposition? What has worked for you in your school or district? I would love to get honest feedback in the comments section because I honestly don’t know the answer.  

Thank you, George. You got me blogging again.

7 thoughts on “Be More Dog

  1. This:

    “What would they have been thinking, saying, or doing in response to this one particular cat who wants to “be more dog”? Then I thought about the metaphor it represents. When you have one teacher on a campus that is looking at educating students from an entirely different perspective, how do the other teachers on that campus react? Do they embrace this change of mindset and try to emulate the behavior, or do they snub their noses at the thought and “remain a cat”? (Don’t get me wrong, I love cats)”

    I have seen that video a thousand times and have NEVER made that connection or thought about it that way. Our own connections and takeaways to ideas are where deep learning really happens. This is where it will stick.

    Kind of just proved WHY you should be blogging. (And stick with it!)

    Thanks for taking time to read the book AND share your thoughts.

    • Thank you for leaving this comment. Usually, I post and it’s like… crickets…crickets…..
      Your words mean so much.

  2. Laura,

    Griffin (my 8 year old) told me I should read more yesterday. I exclaimed, “I read all the time, everyday.” He said, “no, books, made out paper.” Guess Kindle books don’t count. 😂 This book is on my list, can’t wait to read it, especially after your endorsement. I loved your thoughts and connections. Glad to see you blogging and tweeting again.

    Kacie

    • Paper books, post it notes, and highlighters are a few of my favorite things. My Dr. is going to kill me for being back on the computer so much. I don’t listen.

  3. I agree that being forced to conform to new programs or innovations by the District is counterproductive–I dig in and close my mind ( shameful to admit, but true.). What does inspire me to learn are the enthusiastic, engaging teaching methods of tech goddesses such as Laura Moore and my daughter. Learning new concepts while simultaneously being shown how these can be used easily in my class makes me more motivated to try.

    • You teach me a thing or two, young lady. Your mystery Skype gave me little nerdy goosebumps. So what’s your goal for next year? Let’s be rebels and think of something currently blocked by the filter.

  4. Totally ❤️ This!
    I have always been a bit more dog in a cat’s world! Glad to see you’re back to blogging in and making us chuckle with your sidebar comments. Imagine that … a paper book! I’ll add it to my stack! What else is on your list? I need one that changes my world just a bit. 🤗

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