My first day with the whole AGS team, what did I hope to gain? I have been hired to do a job. A job that previously did not exist and I’m a stranger in a strange land.
AGS wants to develop more interdisciplinary curriculum and they want to use technology in a more meaningful way in the classroom. Teachers are committed to educating AGS girls and are dedicated professionals. They are already doing amazing work and I already see STEAM in various classes throughout the school. So what am I supposed to do? I started with an activity I called cultural analysis. Thank you Lindsey Own.
Each team of teachers are given a set of cards and on each card is a topic, subject area, skill or a quote. I ask teachers to rank their top ten, “What do you value most?” There are over 50 of these cards and they have to narrow to 10 and then rank them. Good Luck!!!
I was pleased to see that the majority of the top 10 focused on skills and not subject areas. Critical Thinking, Troubleshooting, Collaboration, Leadership development, etc. This told me that they value and enjoy teaching their subject but they acknowledge certain life skills need to be a focus area.
Next I put out a second set of cards. These cards had various activities that they and students could complete to obtain the skills. I had one group that actually used a wild card that granted them permission to build a small town. I used this activity to inform what professional development we might need, what tools and technology we might want to purchase and how I might support teachers and students.
The Cultural Analysis activity allowed me to get to know the community I was becoming a part of, who are close friends, who just jumps right in, who might hesitate and who was not sure what the heck was going on. I feel that 90 minutes helped jump start my work at AGS. Have I figured it all out NO, I have still experienced frustration, uncertainty, moments of What The Heck but my growth journey is still fun. Stay tuned.