Dear George Couros,


Dear George,

I look at this every morning when I work before sunrise in my study… The word “imagine” next to the last golf ball my dad ever hit.  It’s pretty much all the inspiration I need to start the day.

When you were in our district today and you said your dad died a few years ago, I immediately connected with you. My dad, my hero, died last year.  He was a man who reimagined everything. He was the ultimate “forever learner”–from Harvard to the hospital to our home–he never stopped learning. Learning was his joy, and because of him, it’s my joy, too.

And if I learned anything from you today, it was just that–if we ever stop learning, we might as well be dead. What difference does life make if we are stuck in some distant place, not able to apply history to the present and let it drive the pursuit of a better future?

My dad surely told me a million things over the course of 30+ years. What I remember is a handful of words and a lifetime of lessons he taught with his humility, his kindness, his brilliance, his service.

Our students desperately need forever learners, unafraid and unashamed to love learning deeply and passionately.  Not just the learning of the library, but also the learning of Twitter and Instagram and Flipgrid and so many other things not yet known or networked or imagined.

The students we serve need us to be brave and humble and resilient.  They need us to be present and engaged and willing to put ourselves on the line for their good.  These are the kind of adults who build a beautiful future for the future.

I am quite certain that like today, tomorrow I will fail in many ways.  I will make it a point to fail forward, though, taking the lessons won, reflecting, and moving on to something better and more beautiful for those I serve.

And that’s my hope for you and every student and educator—may you never stop learning, however the lesson may come.  Life is too short to stall out in the status quo.

Keep on keeping on,


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16 Responses to Dear George Couros,

  1. Christine Matula says:

    Thank you for being Klein ISD’s lead learner and doing what’s best for kids! The impact you have made on Klein is exponential!


  2. Awesome post and thanks for sharing a personal story…I look forward to reading more!


  3. Georgan Reitmeier says:

    What a message of honor to your Dad as a life long learner and now he is carried forth in his bright, caring and joy-filled daughter and leader!


  4. Really wonderful words. We never know the story behind someone’s motivations until they tell us. Every student brings their own experience into the classroom that can help and be effective. The other day my video camera wasn’t working properly at KHS, and a student fixed it! He’s invested in me and I hope to invest back into him.


    • jennymcgown says:

      Thanks for sharing, Bobby! Our students are amazing, and they need adults in their lives who will let them dream big and use their skills and talents to serve! Glad you let the student at KHS jump in and help!
      Have a great week!


  5. Mary Wallace says:

    Thank you Jenny I love you too. Beautiful thoughts and words!! Thoughts put into words put into action, equals learning 👍👍


  6. Lance Alexander says:

    It is a honor to work with you. Your dad is looking down smiling and proud!


  7. Evelyn says:

    Simply inspiring, you’re the kind of person who leaves footprints in people’s hearts. I’m sure your dad would be very proud!


  8. Sherri says:

    You are my inspiration, Jenny! Thanks for being such a positive role model and leader for us all.


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