Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Reflection on my Work

This morning, I am fortunate enough to be at UW Tacoma with about 40 other school employees from around the state. Teachers, principals, district office staff, we are together in a room discussing teaching and learning. It's a beautiful day -- cold, clear -- and there is something about being on a university campus that is enlightening and inspiring.

I personally love this work--talking about teaching and learning--and that in and of itself warms my heart and spirit. The process for our work today, however, is amazing.

Our day began with an overview of UW CEL's work, beliefs, and mission. We then were asked to engage in an "Open Space" process wherein we each, as participants, introduced ourselves and shared one topic/question that is on our minds. That topic was written on a piece of paper and placed on a schedule board which then became our agenda.

For the rest of the day, from 10:00 - 2:00, we have the opportunity to self-select four topics for discussion as well as our role as a learner. The Open Space principles are:
  • Whoever comes are the right people
  • Whenever it starts is the right time
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
  • When it's over, it's over
We also followed the Law of Two Feet: If at any time during our time together you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing, use your two feet, go someplace else.

The topics I am discussing, and listening to today, include:
  • Feedback
  • Coaching
  • Student growth goals
  • Support for principals and teachers beyond initial training

Color me inspired!

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