Sometimes there is an energy in the room, an energy that feeds on itself. It is something that you cannot plan for, but you hope happens every time you get together with the right people.
It just so happens that I felt this energy in a strategic planning session bringing together representatives from Teaching and Learning, DoTS, EdTech, Teacher Leadership, ELA, OSRI and a number of others. It is likely that these same stakeholders will never be in a room in the same arrangement with the same purpose again. That fact makes the time that we shared all the more precious. The fact that the energy flowed through the conversation that we were pushing each other’s thinking allowed us to capitalize on how special the moment was.
And it is a testament to our collaborative instinct when we get together, to our ability to put aside personal agendas but not our own lens through which to see the work. It speaks to our ability to create something new from scratch when we need to and to build on greater things that have gone before we need that as well.
And sometimes you need to be able to see what collaboration looks like in order to engage in it. All that I could hope for in facilitating the session, was that creating a ripe environment for collaboration would be enough. Because in the end, it is up to the participants, to the people that are grappling with what the future looks like. It is up to the creators not merely the question askers that will make sure any vision actually happens.
And while we did not solve all of our problems in the less than two hours that it took for us to come together and split back apart, we started a conversation. One that needs to be had. And the people in the room are the ones I want to have that conversation with. I know that each of them will want to expand the conversation to those who were not in the room as well. I know that they will bring more people into the room as we continue. Such a collaboration makes me excited for the work that lays ahead. With every single comment made or note captured on our collaborative ConceptBoard, we were laying the groundwork for what comes next.
It is my sincerest hope that you come with us as we continue this collaborative journey, because we are going to need all the help we can get.
Thank you all for all of the time and space to reflect and share and create.