Thursday, November 15, 2018

#DEN18: Work, Play, Learning, Fun, & Everything In Between (Part 5)

At Day #2 of the Academy, so much happened, and I am not even going to try to describe it all. Maybe I will be able to look back and write a little more, but right now my head is spinning from all of the activities and thinking we did! It was so helpful to see the protocols & processes our coaches took us through to stimulate our thinking & work through the design process, and I can see myself using them with students and/or teachers in the future. I also appreciated the way the day was broken up into manageable chunks of learning, work, inspiration, and fun! It flew by so quickly!

What I really want to focus on tonight as I write is the idea of telling your story.

I started the day by taking a deep breath, knowing I wanted to move past some of the insecurities & fears of last night, and also feeling very vulnerable that I blogged about it. That's the thing about putting yourself out there - sometimes, people actually read it ;-)! Almost immediately, we had two "sparks" (mini bouts of inspiration from one of our coaches or leaders) that really spoke to me. @deanstokes shared about Impostor Syndrome and feeling like a fraud, which I completely resonated with, and it was so good to see the whole room raising their hands saying that they've felt that way too! @cutiablunt played clips related to the song, "This is Me" from The Greatest Showman and encouraged us to tell our stories, which reminded me to be confident not just in my ideas or profession, but in who I am as a person. There were many other great sparks as well, but these two set me on a path to really thinking about identity and how important it is for all of us!

Of course, this led right into my project work, where I am focusing on refugee & immigrant students. Identity is very important to them, too and from conversations with them, I have heard that they can feel split between their "home" culture/identity and "school" culture/identity. We can talk about helping students learn, making connections between home and school, and giving everyone the resources they need, but if we are not truly recognizing sudents' multifaceted identities, we are only skimming the surface. Identifying this as a core need helped me focus my project.

(Side note: I'm not ready to share my project yet, as it is still very much in initial development, but it will make an appearance on this blog when it is time!)

In short, if I were to sum up my learning for today, it would be a reminder for me personally to live & tell my story and to empower others to tell their stories. And maybe, just maybe, if we all understand each others' stories, the world will be a better place <3.

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