A Summer of Learning

Going into summer, I was dreading break. Two and a half months without much purpose, structure, or routine. Although I love vacation as much as (if not more than) the next girl, this prolonged vacation (while everyone else works) has the tendency to make me antsy and not very nice.

After a particularly restless summer in 2017, I wanted to be more proactive. And I’m happy to say, that although I wouldn’t necessarily characterize the last two months as “restful,” they have been invigorating and interesting and enjoyable.

This summer was all about new learning arenas for me. My brain, my heart, and my body, have been energized by the learning process.

 All conferences should be paired with hiking.

All conferences should be paired with hiking.

Arena 1 | Administration

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of attending the Educational Leadership Development Institute (ELDI) sponsored by my school’s accreditation organization. For 4+ days, I spent time exploring the many aspects of administration with other teacher-leaders throughout the U.S. & Canada. I loved learning about board governance and staffing and telling our schools' stories. Since then, my brain has been swirling with ideas and questions and passion for leadership.

Arena 2 | Instructional Design

This summer I’ve had the opportunity to do some instructional design work for Cumby Consulting, a medical device training company. I’ve loved learning about how education is working in a completely different industry. In the process, I’ve been able to learn new content, new tools, and new strategies for facilitating eLearning and in-person learning. It’s been so fun to watch this curriculum come to life.


Arena 3 | Cycling

In January, I started cycling with my husband on the weekends. This summer I took it to the next level by joining the Almaden Cycle Tour Club. Once or twice a week I found myself with a bunch of retired guys (and the occasional woman), exploring San Jose on bike. I conquered hills I didn’t know I was capable of, forced myself out of my introverted bubble, and even learned to use clip-in pedals.

With August on the horizon, I’m thankful for this summer and the opportunity to learn and explore new things. I’m looking forward to continue to explore these things in the months and years to come, but I’m also looking forward to getting back in the classroom with students, where we’ll learn and grow together.

Video of the Week: "JFK Unsilenced"

This week's video blew my mind more than any I've seen in a while. CereProc, a company specializing in text-to-speech, basically raised JFK from the dead to deliver the speech he was on his way to give when he was assassinated. Take a look:

Here's what I'm thinking: 

  • This video was shot in 1963. What themes do you see that are still present today? 
  • Would you say this project is worthy of the time it took to produce it? 
  • Find someone who lived during JFK's presidency. What did they think of hearing this speech?
  • How does the spoken word compare and contrast to the written word? 
  • What is the effect of using AI in this way? What power is there? What danger is there?
  • Why might a Scottish company and a British news outlet be behind the making of this video? 

Video of the Week: "Brené Brown on Blame"

There's nothing like starting summer break with conviction. I've been reading Brené Brown's Rising Strong, and I'm learning so much. I want her to be my best friend. I'll leave you with a small taste of that goodness today: 

Here's what I'm thinking about: 

  • Who's your "Steve" that you're quick to blame?
  • Would you rather it be your fault than no one's fault? Do you think that's related to your need for control? 
  • Brown states, "Blame is simply the discharging of discomfort and blame." Do you agree with this statement? How does that change the way you see yourself as a blamer? How does that change how you look at someone blaming you?
  • How would you say blame is related to accountability and empathy?

Video of the Week: "Palau Pledge"

Every time we enter a new country, we become subject to its rules. Well, for one country, Palau, that now means acknowledging you'll take care of the country. In fact, its a vow to the country's children that you must sign in your passport. Take a look: 

Here's what I'm thinking: 

  • What's the effect of pledging this to the country's children? 
  • Would you be able to sign this pledge? 
  • What would you want visitors to your country to pledge? 
  • What do you think about the idea of signing a pledge in your passport before country entry? 
  • What types of things would you be unable to sign in a pledge to a country like this? 

Video of the Week: "Beauty in Real Life"

CVS announced this week that they're going to stop altering their beauty-related images on their products by 2020. As part of that announcement, they launched a new campaign, Beauty in Real Life: 

Here's what I'm wondering: 

  • The first line of the ad says, "In real life, beauty is up to us," while a woman applies makeup. Do you think that implies/communicates that makeup must be present for beauty to exist? 
  • The phrases following all of have strong sentences about beauty while applying make up. Do you agree with the phrases? Do you think makeup must be present to achieve them? 
  • How would you define beauty? 
  • What affect do you think it will have to stop altering beauty-related images?