I know it's almost time to go back to school when I start having the teacher anxiety dreams... and they started this week. I know that most professions don't have two months "off", but teachers don't really take two months off. We are always working, rethinking what we do and gathering inspiration.
This summer has been great. I've worked with many great educators writing curriculum with them and rethinking practice. In every school I visited from Atlanta to New York, dedicated educators were there on their "vacation" working to refine and reimagine their curriculum to better prepare our students for the world today. I met incredible Heads of School, who wanted to support their teachers and created time and space for that to happen. I worked with amazing department heads who started their conversations with me by telling me that their departments contained the best teachers anywhere. And everywhere I went teachers were there because they cared about their students and about giving them the best experience possible.
It is a privilege to work with such caring educators. And I love every second of designing with them. The energy in the room as this work unfolds is phenomenal. I wonder how we might keep this energy flowing during the year, when most of us feel the incredible time crunch of schedules and coverage and the idea of brainstorming feels too difficult because we are all flat-out all the time.
The Teachers' Guild might be one way of continuing that collaboration throughout the year in an easy online platform. It's the brainchild of IDEO, Riverdale Country School and Google and it gives teachers an easy way to collaborate and design together even when we can't physically be together. Last week I went to a #Dare2Design meetup at Riverdale where I met and worked with like-minded educators who were looking to hack the system in order to make education better for our students. It's so empowering to connect with others who work and think in the same way. I am planning on continuing the collaboration throughout the year, because despite the time crunch of our everyday educator lives, it's important to keep that positive mindset. It's easy to get stuck in our own silos, but being connected to others engaged in the same struggle is empowering and imperative. So join us on The Teachers' Guild website and engage in the conversation to reimagine education!
Friday, August 14, 2015
Monday, August 3, 2015
A blog post for Edutopia written with my husband/architect/designer Blake Auchincloss... So many people talk about putting Makerspaces in schools, but forget that you have to build the culture of Making and Doing and raise awareness about and through Design.