#IMMOOC · professional learning

It’s All About the Heart Work #IMMOOC


We are only three weeks in to the #IMMOOC (The Innovator’s Mindset massive online open course) and already I feel like I have learned so much! I have made so many new and amazing connections and I am loving the energy of the group! This week’s guest for the live episode (Kaleb Rashad) had amazing energy and  tons of personality! 

I loved when Kaleb mentioned meeting the needs of every single learner in our ecosystem. I don’t remember much of what I learned in science as a kid, but for whatever reason, I remember a lot of what I learned about ecosystems.

Because I learn best through analogical reasoning, I immediately started comparing how schools are like ecosystems. I get excited when an analogy works well for me, and I got carried away with this for a while. I started thinking about the people in a school as the biotic members of the ecosystem, and the technology and resources as the abiotic factors that support the growth of its biotic members. I imagined biotic members working together symbiotically, the adaptations that can occur, and the food chain (where unfortunately the analogy didn’t work so well for me). I’ll spare you all of the details of my geek-out session, and focus instead on what I feel is important in laying the groundwork for a healthy and innovative ecosystem or learning community.

This week, while reading (and watching) about laying the groundwork, I considered everything that was discussed in two different contexts, first with an administrator as leader of a school, and second with a teacher as leader of a classroom.

Everything I took in, really applied in both contexts. Here is an acrostic summary of some of what I took away from this week:

In order to lay the groundwork, leaders must:

Invest in their people (investment vs. expenditure)

Network. Get outside of the walls of their office, classroom, school.

Nurture relationships. Care for their people.

Open their heart. Share their hopes, dreams and fears. Let their people see their human side and who they really are.

Voice, choice and autonomy.

Act as a role-model, and risk-taker.

Trust their people more than they feel comfortable with.

Empathize with their people. Understand who they are, what they hope, what they fear, etc.

Looking at the list above, it can all really be summarized into my favourite word, RELATIONSHIPS! It all comes down to the fact that humans are creatures of attachment. Relationships empower us! A leader’s first focus should always be the heart work!


6 thoughts on “It’s All About the Heart Work #IMMOOC

  1. I like the inspiration from Kaleb, it also inspired me a lot and reminded me a few things!
    What was new and well articulated was that awareness about being classroom or SCHOOL teachers. I appreciated the resonance between Kaleb Rashad and Jennie Magiera on Learners’ Powers and how we MUST be honest, show our vulnerability and humanity!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your comparison of schools to ecosystems sent AHA moments clanging through my brain. Not only did it resonate with my learning in #IMMOOC, I will be starting my Ecology unit with my students very soon! Imagine how much we can add to our growth each day if the students themselves are able to make those same connections. An ecosystem analogy project? I can take risks and try!
    Thank you so much for sharing with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be fun! I always found analogies so helpful when I was teaching science to grade 7 & 8. We tried to make it relevant to their lives. One year we compared Facebook filters to selective permeability. They all understood no problem! Have fun! Let me know how it goes!


  3. Hey Sheila! I hope you are okay with me quoting part of your blog in my blog posting. I love your acrostic!! I haven’t made my post yet as I’m waiting to make sure it’s okay with you if I link to your blog and quote you. 🙂


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