Thinking Like an Entrepreneur
The other day I was listening to the Guy Raz podcast “How I Built This” about how entrepreneurs build their companies from scratch. I was struck by a few of the episodes because the entrepreneurs talked about how making money wasn’t their focus. Rather they had a mission focused organization.
I started wondering if this idea of a mission driven company could be scaled down for a personalized learning classroom. It’s almost like test scores are the money and sometimes we worry too much about the classroom making money (high test scores) and we miss opportunities to create a flourishing classroom culture.
Personalized Learning + Mission
This will be my first year running a personalized learning classroom and I’m nervous about managing a classroom full of students at different points in their learning and at different motivation levels. I’m convinced for it to work the classroom has to have a strong mission and purpose communicated by the teacher.
Then I started thinking about how I would define my classroom’s mission.
I want a classroom where students ask the questions, take charge of their own learning, and don’t feel like they’re doing busy work.
I want students to participate in work that will advance their learning, hone their communication skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening), and learn to use new communication tools for the creation of blogs, podcasts, or videos.
Tenets of a Mission Driven Classroom
- Take care of yourself so that you are ready to learn.
- Try new things even if you might fail – be ready to try more than once.
- Support and collaborate with everyone.
- Take responsibility for your learning and find what interests you.
- Reduce your distractions to promote creativity.
- Do not just go through the motions or accept what you feel is busy work.
- Deliver nothing less than excellent, original, and creative work.
- Make connections with what you’re learning in class to the outside world.
Putting it into Action
I don’t see how personalized learning could work without a strong mission, purpose, and class culture. When I’m in the thick of it this year, I’m going to lean on these tenets. They’re not just for student either! I have to take care of myself so that I can come to class ready to learn and lead.
Have you tried this in your classroom? I’d love to hear your experiences.