If my life were a musical it would be some variation of Into the Woods. The characters face some pretty challenging situations and have to sing and dance their way through life to find their solutions. That takes musicality and the characteristics of the Innovator’s Mindset. As a spectator, I just LOVE it! Plus, I have no problem breaking into song at the drop of a hat, just ask my kids or husband, “You’ve changed! You’re daring, you’re different in the woods….”🎶🎶
“Never mind anyway,” 🎶 we follow the characters from famous fairy tales through the ups and downs of the “Once upon a time…” kingdom. Cinderella falls in love and loses her glass slipper. The Big Bad Wolf, hustles Red Riding Hood and her crazy Granny. Two princes fight over who has it worse. A witch steals a baby. Jack promptly gets in trouble with a giant. The Baker and his Wife must break the curse… You know how the stories go. I can totally imagine my friends, family, colleagues, and students cast in these roles.
Which of these eight characteristics do you rock on a daily basis?
I feel I relate to being a Problem Finder the most. I am always looking to see what I could have done more effectively; what could have been taught or said with a different approach. I truly benefit from having conversations with students and teachers, brainstorming ideas, getting feedback, or even being inspired to pull out a tool that has long since been forgotten. These conversations could not and do not happen without a strong relationship foundation. Any problem that students, teachers, you name it, face can be solved individually or collectively through the cultivation of relationships.
Just recently, I was speaking with a colleague about a student who has been struggling behaviorally. She shared with me that this kiddo was doing everything in his power to get in trouble and stay in trouble. I asked a few questions about the student’s background and what interventions had been done previously and with what success. In this instance, I supported my colleague by listening, offering some advice and possible tools to use, and also asked some questions to see what she felt in her opinion was the best “next step.” My colleague came up with a great plan for tomorrow. This problem finding/solving moment could not have happened without a strong relationship and without two different skillsets rockin’ it together.
Every single character from Sondheim and Lapine's amazing work displays one of the eight characteristics from the Innovator’s Mindset. The Baker’s Wife is resilient for she never gives up on her dream to become a mother. Jack starts with problems and quickly finds a solution, and another problem. The Baker is a risk-taker, venturing off into the woods to break the Witch's spell. BUT they all need each other to be successful. Each person brings a different set of skills to the table that makes the whole team able to work together, solve multiple problems, and find their happy ending.
That’s what’s so great about those amazing characteristics. You don’t have to worry. Someone will bring balance to the team. That camaraderie is so important because through that teamwork and effort, our students will experience the Innovator’s Mindset. Teachers and students are enlightened and ideas just pour out from within developing leaders, friends, and cheerleaders. Who wouldn’t want to cultivate just one of the characteristics of the Innovator’s Mindset? And why not sing about it?
Mena T. Hill
Educator, Wife, Mother, Colorado Native