This weekend was about many things. At the core, however, it was about living our lives as curious learners. This enables us to invite our students to this life of being curious and discovering how to take action with our new learning.
As we experienced, it doesn't happen through sit and get. It doesn't happen through endless lecture and assigned print-based materials. It happens through conversation, questions, exploration, reading, image study, relationships, dance, tears, and joy.
Scroll through the tweets to share in the laughter, the tears, the performances, the learning, and the fire that was Santa Fe Multi-Day Institute 2018.
Santa Fe wears the name The Land of Enchantment. This weekend, it also becomes our land of inquiry. Here, we not only embark on learning journeys to enrich our teaching lives and draw parallels to our work with students, but we invite ourselves into the tension and struggle of crucial skills: collaboration, vulnerability, advocacy, confronting fears, and so much more.
To create change in our schools we need to ask questions about our practices. Big questions. Specific questions. Hard questions. Questions that, if not asked, will drastically change access, inclusion, and the learning experience for our children.
As we were welcomed by our leader and host, Harvey “Smokey” Daniels, Kristin Ziemke declared that this institute is certainly a family reunion for the authors, “so consider yourselves part of the family”.
To be vulnerable in one’s learning process requires a connection with other learners, a space where we share the human condition, share space as family. Do our students have these conditions in our schools and classrooms? Do we consider our colleagues family? Can we create change and become lifelong learners in pursuit of knowledge, creativity, equity, and social justice without these conditions?
The excitement grew through the afternoon (as evidenced by chart paper, markers, and high-energy conversation) and small groups built a plan for their investigations. But inquiry, we have already learned, is more than just an engaging way to learn content and demonstrate mastery. We should ask ourselves, as nudged by Cornelius Minor during his keynote:
"How do I weaponize inquiry to keep myself safe and keep my community whole?" @MisterMinor nudging us toward what matters. #hsantafe18
Take look below through some of the tweets and links shared from our learning community on Saturday. Be sure to follow us on Twitter via @HeinemannPD and #HSantaFe18 and on Instagram @HeinemannPub to share in the thinking from this multi-day institute.
We hope you have been enjoying the new format of this series!
Each month, we share 2 posts designed to provoke thinking and discussion, through a simple framework, incorporating mini-collections of linked content into your professional development time.
For December, we get to take a moment to slow down and rediscover opportunities for these six posts and accompanying frameworks thus far. Looking for a way to have focused, quality professional learning time with your team or staff? Here you go! Please let us know if you have any topic ideas for series' posts in 2018.
"What should a student's day look like? Reading fascinating materials. Doing quick writing pieces. Sharing ideas. Responding to others. Discussing the big concepts, patterns and processes of the discipline. Debating controversies. Wanting to know more. Becoming an inquirer in the field."
-Harvey "Smokey" Daniels and Nancy Steineke
This January, take your curious adult-self (colleagues, too!) to Santa Fe, New Mexico for this Intensive Professional Learning Institute for K–12 Educators. You will experience everything you want our students to do, firsthand, while also making the practical translations to back-home realities.
Led by five outstanding authors and consultants, Sara Ahmed, Smokey Daniels, Cornelius Minor, Nancy Steineke, and Kristin Ziemke, you will deepen your learning in these strands:
Reading and Writing—Lessons that develop deeper thinking, build knowledge, and invite kids to engage with the world.
Teaching with Inquiry—Four types of student inquiries and 10 ways to find time for them.
Social-Academic Lessons—Explicit lessons in creating a supportive climate of classroom harmony, productive discussion, and responsible small-group work all year long.
Just-Right Technology—The right tools for the job—selecting and using technologies that truly enhance thinking and interaction in the classroom.
Including Everyone—Supporting English language learners, students with special needs, kids who are shy or introverted, and those who struggle.
Instructional Leadership—Guidance on how to promote change and implement best practice teaching for principals, coaches, and curriculum specialists.
Let's face it, the idea of jumping into student-directed inquiry can be overwhelming. Fears over releasing control to students—and visions of students losing control—can seem like too much to handle to even consider dipping one’s toe into the waters of inquiry. But the truth is, successful student-directed inquiry is a highly structured, adaptable framework that honors kids questions about the world and fits any curriculum. There is no need for it to be scary.
When you live with thirty other human beings for 180 days in a row, sad things and bad things can happen. Individual children or the whole group will encounter struggles, worries, losses, changes, or emergencies. It’s not whether, but when.
Many of these happenings are predictable and expectable. A class pet dies. Then someone breaks a bone. Someone moves away. Someone has a sick parent or grandparent. Someone’s family is in a car crash. There’s a bullying incident on the playground. A big storm rages through town. There’s scary news on TV and adults are agitated about it.
Here are some ways to support students when dealing with these crises in your classroom: