By Maureen Cohen, Assistant Superintendent, Mendon-Upton Regional School District
Our first Zoom session on November 9th at 8pm, did not disappoint. We began the session with the question. "It's 8pm on a Thursday Night, you could be anywhere doing anything, what brings you here." The responses alone were enough to keep me coming back for future conversations. As we build our network of inspired learners and leaders of learning, consider whether some of the following responses resonate for you:
1. I'm looking for a sweet mix of inspiration and practical solutions. I can wax philosophical all day long, but at the end of the day I want to hear about what you are doing practically speaking to move your buildings.
2. I'm doing this for my soul.
3. I look at it like this, there are people who sit on the beach in the sand …some put feet in the water, then there are people who swim out before the waves and ride the waves in. I try to be ahead. and then ride it in. This is the next wave I’m glad I’m catching.
4. It's about being connected to people who already inspire me and who I look up to in many ways and hoping to find nuggets of aha moments and share the challenges and success we all look for everyday in our schools.
5. I need my community to continuously inspire me. Sometimes it can’t always come from your own building, so I'm looking for this group to be a place I can turn to and have that 'Oh my gosh, yes!' moment.
6. ...creating lessons that are powerfully memorable. That is what has driven me as a teacher as I’m designing lessons.. I’m hoping this group can help me to affect change.
7. I'm so intrigued by where this can take us and learning and hearing from others. I believe that connecting teachers will help to affect change.
8. It's the difference between Schoolers vs. Yearners. Yearners know it can be different and can create transformational moments for students in schools.
As we discussed some memorable and inspirational learning moments in our schools we learned about a high school innovation lab and an elementary replication of Caine's arcade. We discussed how we are seeking moments for deeper learning opportunities, increased student agency and pursuit of passions, real work that matters for real audiences.
If I were to synthesize why we decided to meet online on a Thursday at 8 pm:
We want to be yearners, who are riding the next wave of inspiration. A wave filled with nuggets of "aha" moments, "Oh my gosh, yes" moments, and practical ways to affect change and move our buildings. Indeed we are looking for a sweet mix for our souls.
Click above to share a practice that promotes student agency, ignites students' passions, or creates a bridge between classrooms & the real world.
Click above to nominate an educator to be celebrated by the Inspired Learning Project.