How does one teacher and his fellow friend in education develop a PD model that completely changes the game for teacher learning? Today, I talk to Cohort 21 founder Justin Medved.
I met Justin in my first year with Cohort 21 as a bright, shiny new participant. I was just starting my 2nd year as a classroom teacher and I was full of questions and the feeling like everyone else knew what I was doing. Justin’s coach like leadership style made me instantly like him and allowed me to take risks in my teaching and go deeper in this practice. Justin is not only one of the Co-Founder of Cohort 21, but has also created Project 2051 and the Strategic Change Accelerator with Garth Nichols. In our conversation, we touch on his background, his secret to producing so many incredible learning experiences, how his teaching philosophy has shifted since starting Cohort 21, and what advice he has for people who are starting Cohort 21 this year.
I should probably just mention that while many people who are reading this today have likely heard a little something about Cohort 21, you might be thinking to yourself, what the heck is this? The abbreviated version is that Cohort 21 is a year long professional development experience that allows teachers to use design thinking to address dilemmas and challenges that they face through their year. Educators meet up 4 times a year, typically somewhere around Toronto, and throughout the rest of the year, we share our learning using various online tools. There is a link in the show notes for this episode, so if you need a little more of an explanation, definitely check out the Cohort 21 website and see what’s what.
Justin’s thoughtful leadership and intentionality never cease to inspire me. He joined me on his summer vacation in Collingwood, Ontario, so if you catch the sweet sound of birds in the background, now you know why.