“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”- George Eliot
As many may know, I accepted a position at AGS in April of this year and I officially started on July 5th. It was not an easy move from a mental, social and emotional perspective. The goal was personal and professional growth. So here I am over 90 days later and ready to execute phase two. This year the theme of Atlanta Girls’ School is Be Bold. How am I being bold?
My first step of being Bold was leaving an institution with people and principles I have grown to love. I let a tribe that gave me comfort, support and friendship. I became the new kid on the block. Being new has meant getting to know the culture of AGS. I spent time conducting Emapthy interviews. Hoping to identify needs, wants and the roles of individuals. My first professional development with the AGS faculty was a cultural analysis workshop. I have conducted Ethnography work; sitting and observing, class observations and just being present without being noticed. I utilized surveys to understand technology needs and access student interest in STEAM. After my initial empathy and discovery work my next BOLD step was to Prototype.
We have office hours at AGS for 30 minutes, three days a week. During these office hours I invite students in to the Horizon center and I have tested STEAM sessions. These sessions are designed to give students an opportunity to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. We have played with circuits by sewing with conductive thread and lighting an LED. We have created Multiplication Patterns, which served a dual role of using a hammer and reviewing multiplication. We have played with virtual reality in an attempt to bridge the gap between fun and learning (“learning is fun”). My role has been simply to setup the activity and get out of the way. I have a belief that students will do their on troubleshooting, build strong emotional and social bonds and enjoy the experience when the adult male is out of the way. Although I did spend a lot of time threading needles.
So my prototyping has given me some great ideas for phase two of building the STEAM program and interdisciplinary work at AGS. Part of that must be more reflecting and sharing. Stay tuned.