Many thanks to Graham Vogt for being a special guest at our last F2F at MaRS, but also taking the time to write a post to frame the Action Plan:
Taking Action With Cohort 21: From Reading to Leading
In the beginning, it was a relatively simple approach. My first action plan was to finally confront a question that had haunted me for some time: how can I better help my students discover a love of reading? By merely asking this question, I quickly realized I was also admitting to a level of failure in my teaching: students, by and large, were not discovering a love of reading in my class. To me, this was THE essential step of the Cohort 21 experience. I admitted weakness, I made myself vulnerable and, in doing so, I completely opened myself up to the beautifully diverse minds and experiences of my cohort. I was well positioned to learn and, indeed, the learning was exhilarating. This further positioned to meaningfully reflect and share and generally involve myself in the many other exciting discussions that were forever permeating throughout the multiple venues. In the end, I was armed with an overflowing toolbox and some lasting epiphanies and perspectives (and friendships). Except, or course, it wasn’t the end at all.
My current journey is easily traced to that early Cohort 21 experience. My action plan also helped to sharpen my focus on a particular group of students – 9th and 10th Graders. This led to some intriguing discussions at our school that ultimately led to a total reimagining of what learning looks like at those grade levels. That reimagining is now called the Discovery Program and is characterized by the many exciting initiatives that ultimately seek to meaningfully disrupt teaching and learning. It’s a program I continue to create and lead in my position as Grade Band Leader.
So, there you have it. An action plan that began relatively small in scope has become an all encompassing aspect of my life. Cohort 21 is almost like a can of worms. A really wonderful can of worms.
If you’re interested in my first action plan, you can find my account here.