Is Self-Consciousness the Death of Innovation? – #IMMOOCBC1

It’s funny how many parallels you can draw from life when you are immersed in something. Over the course of the last three weeks, I have been immersed in the #IMMOOC. I found another parallel to the Innovator’s Mindset yesterday as I was driving in the car. I was listening to a podcast when the author shared the following quote from Tom Hanks. “Self-consciousness is the death of art.” In this quote, Hanks was alluding to the fact that when filming movies, he rarely acts out a scene for a second time. In his mind the subsequent takes add to his level of self-conscious therefore making them worse than the first.

This got me wondering, “Is self-consciousness the death of innovation?” @matthew_arend !refAs I walk in and out of classrooms I see teachers who boldly find ways to make learning new and better for their students. Teachers take these risks well knowing they could fail. It begs to question, are there teachers who do not take the same risks because they are self-conscious? Does their self-consciousness limit innovation?

This week our #IMMOOC focus was on relationships, relationships & relationships. As a building leader my goal is to develop relationships, empower teachers and students and ensure that self-consciousness does not become the death of innovation. Hear more about that by watching #IMMOOC Live Episode 3.

How do you ensure relationships are in place so self-consciousness does not become the death of innovation in your classroom, grade level, department or building?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

8 thoughts on “Is Self-Consciousness the Death of Innovation? – #IMMOOCBC1”

  1. I am on my 6th year of teaching now, but I spent the majority of those first 3-4 years being very self-conscious. This is just a part of my personality. Some of the things that have helped me become a more confident educator who is willing to innovate: A principal who asks in what ways I will challenge myself, rather than telling me what to do. Having co-workers I trust who give me feedback. Being brave enough to ask my students what they think of class, projects, or the way I teach and using that to improve. Overall, realizing that there really isn’t a perfect teachers. Rather, a great educator is someone willing to change and try new things and get feedback from others.

  2. I’m pretty sure self-consciousness interfered with my teenage son’s math development. He was good at math so

    we put him in a grade ten class even though he was in grade nine, and it did not go well. There was no way he was going to risk anything in front of the older kids. He lost his intuitive sense as well as his belief in himself as a capable math student who loved what he was doing. That has finally resurfaced now in his third year of university! Thank you, accounting professors!

    1. Wow… this happened to my son as well when he skipped 8th grade math and had to take Geometry at the high school first thing in the morning and then returned back to his middle school campus to finish out the day. He never took the same kinds of risks once he was placed in a new environment with older kids. I will hope for the same outcome as your son, as mine gets ready for his freshman year of college this fall!

  3. Absolutely being self-conscious leads teachers to be conservative in their practices. That is a great connection you made there.

    I think by providing teachers a safe place to try something out first helps. When they know it’s the process, not the result, being evaluated it frees them up to dare different.

  4. So I wonder…
    -How can leaders know immediately how self-conscious their teachers are?
    -How can they pinpoint the source of that self-consciousness in order to address it?
    -How can less self-conscious teachers be utilized to encourage in a non-threatening way?
    -How can it sometimes flip and teachers’ reactions make a leader feel/act self-conscious?
    You’ve given us a lot to think about! Thank you!

  5. In a school with X number of classroom teachers with an Adminstrator who not only doesn’t foster innovation, but certainly doesn’t expect it., how many of those X teachers will be innovative on their own? And what is the number of this subset who inspire others to also innovate?

    1. My drive to be an innovative teacher has come from within myself and I can honestly say that I have only had 1 Principal(my first one)-out of 5-give me permission or even lead by example to try something new.

  6. Very thought provoking post. And as a teacher who is trying to innovate in the classroom and help to inspire a school culture where innovation and relationships are priority, I am fully convinced that school leaders (administrators) encourage innovation and help ease self-consciousness by being vulnerable and honest themselves. It’s so refreshing to follow leaders who talk about their successes and their not so successful attempts! A sense of humour goes a long way!
    As teachers, we ask our students to take risks and assess them on it constantly, therefore lets model vulnerability! We all feel self-conscious about trying new things…but do we feel like we will
    be understood and accepted if things don’t go as planned?

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