Communicating Education Redesigns to the Entire Team (Students and Teachers)

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I read and hear a lot about people noticing how many problems there are in our education system, but one thing that bothers me is when we only talk about problems and realizations.

Sometimes I feel like the same conversations are always happening; “School doesn’t look like the real world in this way. Oooh, now how can I get other educators to realize this?” (A few months maybe a year or two later.) “Hey everyone look at what we did!”-  Things that I read are so often about either the problem or  what solution they have found, but the important part is the process! How do we get from point A to point B?

I know there are things that can be changed, but how do we start actually making a change? I like reading things from other educators, and TEDTalks are almost always really intriguing, but I’m starting to feel repetitive in conversations we have in ID specifically. Maybe we are just reading the wrong things, but can you really read “the wrong thing”?

Something else that bothers me is when people only talk about sharing to other educators. Think about it; education redesigned is going to effect students just as much if not more than the educators, how do you show them the reasons that these changes are good?

What’s really hard at MVPS is that a lot of students don’t like words like innovation, design thinking, fail up, or really any of the mindsets. I’d like to give reasoning to why, but I don’t know why because I love these words. I guess they were just over used early on and now people associate the words with failed prototypes, even though we have been making improvements on how we implement these ideas.

Just today Ms. Cureton was trying to figure out how to tell the student body about an interim opportunity for people staying in which they will be working with MODA through a design thinking challenge to help redesign what a museum is in a way that will encourage young visitors to MODA. The problem is that not everyone finds that opportunity as intriguing as the ID kids when communicated this way. I wanted to help Ms. Cureton, but I’ve been struggling with the same problem. How do I talk about how awesome ID is to my peers without getting rolled eyes and snark remarks? (This doesn’t always happen, but it is becoming more frequent and I don’t want it to.)

While talking with Ms. Cureton I also thought about something else that bothers me; the student, teacher gap. Let me make something clear, I don’t think of student voice as throwing a bunch of teens in a room and giving them a couple of prompting questions then stepping back. Sure this is step one maybe, but what about step 2? I hate it how everything seems so separated like, this is the time where teachers will talk and now here is time for students to talk, why don’t they work together???????????

Even in ID I notice times where Mr. Adams and Ms. Cureton lead something and then I notice times where they try to be completely silent and just let us try to lead and do things on our own. I get that they want us to get into the habit of being a leader, and they want to see how we will work on our own, but it is surprising to me that we have never really done an activity together in my opinion. We haven’t worked as partners on a common task/problem/issue/idea.

I got the awesome to help facilitate COI, and during that process I did work along side of teachers, but not everyone has. I know there is a difference between the two situations.

I guess it has been on my mind because of this idea of a team that we try to keep in mind while at ID. Mr. Adams and Ms. Cureton are a part of this team, but I don’t always feel like it is that way because we haven’t really worked with them as I mentioned. I mean we have our coVenture to the roof which we say the entire ID cohort works on together, but Mr. Adams and Ms. Cureton are a part of the cohort, and yet they aren’t really working on it with us; yes, they provide feedback and they go back and forth between the teams to see if we need help, but that isn’t the same as working with us.

Within the team we’ve already been struggling communication wise. Today there were several people that didn’t watch the TEDTalk , and it bothered me because that means they weren’t following through on the plan that we all came up with which was to do reading over the weekend and to keep up with the google hangout so you know what’s going on.

A good team needs to communicate well, and we do not yet. I don’t really feel that we act like a team. We still have a student-teacher divide feel at times, and sometimes a grade-grade divide , not everyone follows through on tasks, communication is not great, and we don’t function as one body. In drama  we say a great cast (team) has a really strong group mind which means that you can anticipate what others will do on stage and work with them based on what everyone is good at; this rule should apply in every team situation.

So HMW improve our team mind?

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