It is not about having and implementing a plan 

I wasn’t entirely sure about what to expect from Cohort21… I had heard that teachers could explore an area of personal interest, develop an action plan to address their problem of practice and learn to use some digital learning tools at the same time. This did not prove to be untrue but it certainly didn’t do justice to what I have experienced.

Forging Direction

In preparation for our final face-to-face meeting, we have been tasked with writing a reflection that documents our thinking and iteration as we executed our action plans. I’m not sure that I am ready to do that yet…

Over the past 6 months, I feel as though I have done little more than determine exactly the direction I want to move and determine a few things I could implement in an effort to get me there. However, what I have found is that

“Life is a path you beat while you walk it. It might feel like you are heading off into the deep grass but a path will emerge.”

It took quite a while but I eventually realized that all my meandering thoughts and crazy ideas actually had a connection that I was unaware of. All the face-to-face sessions eventually led me to be able to connect the dots.

Path through the grass

The Unending ToDo List

In my last post, I listed a few of the things I am working on to provide resources for teachers. I am sure that as I continue to consider how we might create a safe environment for teachers to share ideas and take risks that I will come up with more things to do! Being able to connect everything back to the same purpose makes it all feel more cohesive.

Some other areas that I would like to focus on include:

  • celebrating all that is currently happening
  • more actively create opportunities for experimentation
  • collaboratively review student work and determine next steps for professional development
  • gather data to measure impact of initiatives
  • connect with our community of students, colleagues, parents and other schools to gather feedback

What I Would Tell My October-Self

  • The face-to-face sessions are really energizing. Rarely have I worked with such  a group of positive and passionate educators. Much can be learned through all conversations with absolutely anyone in the group!
  • Having repeated meetings and so much time lets you explore a topic in much more depth than any other type of PD I have encountered
  • You will have much freedom to do what works for you and explore your topic(s) n any direction you like
  • Although it seems like there will be a lot of time available, make time for regular reflection and blogging, Tweeting, sharing of resources, etc. – they are such powerful tools that I love to use but wish I had used more
  • Connect with colleagues about what you are working on – I wish that I had talked with more colleagues at school about what I was working on (although, with that ToDo list, there’s still time!)

You Should Consider Participating in Cohort21 If…

You enjoy reflection questioning your practice. Cohort21 allows you to delve deep into a topic and reflect on how your thinking changes as you learn more about it. The community of learners is very powerful and and I would love to check in with this group again next year to see how our plans have iterated.


2 comments to “It is not about having and implementing a plan ”
  1. @ljensen this is a great reflection on what Cohort 21 is all about – thank you for summarizing your own journey in such a concrete and accessible way for your readers. I also think that the fact you realize the power of the Cohort 21 membership and toolkit presented this year means you are likely to continue to use it beyond our final F2F meeting… and that is the coolest part! The drive to do more and be more (which is awesomely displayed in your ToDo list and notes for our October selves – which by the way, can be totally used for our actual future October 2017 selves!!) is something that I believe makes us passionate educators–something not to be underestimated in terms of its ability to create change and forge ahead! Great work this season!

  2. Thanks for this reflection, @ljensen – it will be a good one to send people to if they’re wondering what the heck Cohort 21 is all about! It has been so wonderful having you as a part of this C21 community this year – I feel lucky to have had the chance to meet and learn from you this year. I look forward to continuing to do so, as your book is on my Amazon wishlist! 🙂
    – Jen

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