A Quotable Keynote Speech

Yesterday I had the pleasure to hear George Couros provide the keynote address at the Indiana District Lutheran Teachers Conference. I know it might sound odd to say that I am a fan of another educator, but that pretty sums up my feelings about Couros and the impact he has on my thinking and practice. If you haven’t read his book The Innovators Mindset, I highly recommend it. This volume is both accessible and challenging in moving one’s classroom leadership forward.

One of the takeaways from listening to Couros is that he is very quotable, providing so many different nuggets to chew upon intellectually. These nuggets are too good to keep to myself. Therefore, here are some meaningful quotes from yesterday’s talk:

  • “The smartest person in the room is the room.”
  • “Often the biggest barrier to innovation is our own way of thinking.”
  • “The best way to have good ideas is to have a lot of ideas.”
  • Twitter is literacy.”
  • “The biggest game changer in education is YOU, teachers.”
  • “Would you want to spend the whole day learning in your own classroom?”
  • “No teacher has ever had a former student return and say that a standardized test changed his or life.”
  • “Is Starbucks a better learning environment than your classroom?”
  • Data driven is the stupidest term in education. Be learner driven instead.
  • “Why did you become an educator? To test kids?”
  • “As an educator, isolation is a choice you make.”
  • “Do we have pencil integration labs? No, because that would be stupid.”
  • What’s on the test? is not a question of curiosity. It is a question of compliance.”
  • “Most schools have a culture of don’t.”
  • “Innovation often begins and ends with empathy.”
  • “Help kids see that they can make a difference in the world today, not just when they leave your school.”
  • “Kids don’t need to embrace failure. They just need to know that it is a part of the process.”
  • “Complaining teachers don’t want you to do something awesome because they might look bad.”
  • “Your every day is where your legacy is created.”

3 thoughts on “A Quotable Keynote Speech

  1. Bill Moses

    Great book. I would add a couple more of my favs. from the book:
    “If we ever stop learning, we might as well stop teaching.”
    “If you think you are “there,” you are already probably falling behind.”
    “Any policy or leader who doesn’t understand and live this needs to find other employment.”
    and finally…
    “We must commit to perpetually moving forward, for our own sakes and for the benefit of the schools and the students we serve.” I would add to that, to quote Paul, “for the sake of the Gospel,” 1 Cor. 9:23.


  2. Nathanael W Poppe

    Awesome, thanks for the post.
    Convicting much: Would you want to spend the whole day learning in your own classroom?
    Answer: No, probably not currently, but trying to make it better every day.


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