I Don’t Even Know


Today was one of those days where I just don’t even know what to think of anything. I have a bagillion different conversations going on in my head at once, and I can’t seem to make sense of any of them! Uggggg!!!!!!

On Wednesdays we have a lot of time with the ID cohort because we also have (i)Time to work together. I guess that has something to do with this conundrum. The theme of the day for me has been about finding the crack. As in the small opening in the door where you can actually enter. How do you find this opening moment?

I guess to start I must say I discovered that yesterday’s meeting didn’t quite go as I had thought. As I said, I struggle with keeping quite, but we don’t get opportunities to be in a teacher meeting often, and I really thought it was a better time then any to share and work with them. Apparently, not so much. I don’t mean at all to say the teachers don’t value student opinion, and I understand that stepping back and observing is valuable, but I guess I just mis-read the situation yesterday. The whole decision to even let us go was really last minute, and after this time, I really wish we would have done more prep before going into it because that conversation was valuable.

Looking back, the 3 of us students really didn’t know the goals of the meeting, or who was going to be there, or how those meetings typically go. The teachers also didn’t know we were going to be there. (Which we also didn’t learn until today.) I’m also sure the teachers felt a little awkward about talking about students in front students. We talked about today how not everyone is quite at the point of being comfortable with being uncomfortable with changing up things.

It reminded me of a phrase we have in Latin; “There are lines, and then there are lines.” In ancient Rome, the people did some pretty inhumane things compared to today, but there were still other people that did things even worse. Like in Carthage, they would kill babies, and that would be the, “and then there are lines.” It is hard to figure out where the lines are, and I’ve noticed the more comfortable we get with breaking boundaries, the harder it becomes to find lines. Which makes perfect sense. How can you find a line in an exploded box that is now a circle? You can’t because circles have no edges; the world is a sphere… It seems like an annoying paradox almost because we want to break the lines, yet need to recognize them in order to break them and get everyone to the other side. The disgruntling middle ground is a frustrating place, but it is a place that must come after the beginning and before the end. (This entire post is probably right on that line, but if I’m not going to speak it, then I need to write it because I want it to be heard.)

This lead into a conversation about how ID is going currently. Some people are saying that they want to “do something” and how they think some people may be holding them back because they aren’t quite at the same level. There was some great insight from the conversation, but also in general I just kept thinking about all the different thoughts and it was hard for me to process things.

Finally, I cracked. I’m going through so many thoughts and this was finally the big rant of the night:

We have gone to the CDC and helped doctors design actual plans. We have gone to the roof and proved we can break school norms. We have changed the way we do WriteNows and is a prototype for the rest of the high school. We have made a blog and have been recognized and quoted by people around the world. We have been involved in teacher meetings. We are helping design interim. WE HAVE DONE A TON!!!!! You just mean that you haven’t done personal stuff, and you could at any time you just have to tell them what you want to do and what your plan is. They are open for practically anything. Scratch that, they are open to ANYTHING!!!!! AND I’m sick of the complaining about ID not doing anything, because we do a lot. It isn’t the freshmen holding people back (don’t get me wrong, they aren’t all on the same level, but they just haven’t had as much practice), but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. Also, if they aren’t on the same level, “HMW get them there?” Yes, I used a MVPS norm, and you know what, the norms are AWESOME!!! I’m in this boat too, and I get it that sometimes we just don’t know what to do. I haven’t been able to form like 1 cohesive thought today about any of it, (and I think I have had more awkward conversations with Ms. Cureton today, then you have. Jacob, Emmy, and Margret also) but I do know that I’M SICK OF PEOPLE COMPLAINING!!!!!!! I don’t know what I want to do. I don’t know how to make the freshman understand the basics of “hacking”. I don’t know how to get the teachers comfortable with being uncomfortable. I don’t know what to think of this thank you letter/ apology letter we are writing. I don’t what to think of about any of it!!!! But I  know that our observing and blogging has been inspiring things. I know that actually reading an innovators DNA was beneficial for us in trying to help get everyone on the same level, and I know that I got a deeper insight on it as well, so it wasn’t useless. I know that observing at the lower school helped us practice observing things more in-depth. I know that what we do, while maybe not what anyone imagined of ID, is still doing stuff. We are doing real things, I have seen noticeable changes happening around us because of us. So I’m sick and tired of hearing “ID doesn’t do anything,” because whether or not you have recognized it, we do a lot, and we can do so much more.

And that is my rant.

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks

Cat will mew, and dog will have his day!”

(bow and exit)


3 thoughts on “I Don’t Even Know

  1. I so appreciate your honest sharing and your perspective. At the very core, I would encourage you to remember that it’s about corp. It’s about relationships. And when we take risks and learn by doing that we may have (temporarily) compromised relationships, that we should innovate our own practices – our individual selves – to create new value in the relationships that we have with others. For what we can build together far exceeds anything we will ever be able to build by ourselves.

    And the door into collaboration is listening. Listening is the most fundamental collaboration skill. True listening.

    And I think we are doing, too. Yet perspective can often substitute for one’s reality.

  2. Anya, This is a great reflective post where you let us into a great deal of your learning moments from yesterday, so thank you! I know we’ve talked a lot already – and I didn’t think it was awkward – but I want to remind you that change isn’t an event; it’s a process. And to lead that process requires persistence…persistence to stick it out even when things aren’t what you expected, persistence to build your team, and be the best team possible, and persistence to put in 100% effort in all you do, because, at the end of the day, that’s what you want to be remembered for, your positivity and your desire to do your best. Patience is not about waiting, it’s about choosing to keep a positive attitude because eventually you’ll get there.

    You are doing; continue doing. Do more.

  3. Your honesty and passion is inspiring. It can’t help but get me wondering of a world where all teachers are this open with themselves.

    I really have to support what Meghan and Bo have said above about relationships, collaboration and persistence. There will be a number of moments of frustration in any innovation and it is those dispositions that will help you and your team through. I speak from experience as being a teacher creating a new school in New Zealand and going through the same exhiliration/frustration rollercoaster. Blogging has helped me through this ride and I can see that it will be a great tool for helping you out as well.

    The ID is an incredible programme already and you are doing amazing things. Our 13 year olds starting their passion projects have already been inspired by your actions. The ID is also helping to shift teacher mindsets not just within Mount Vernon but across the globe.

    Keep up the awesomeness, keep reflecting and enjoy the rollercoaster

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