Thursday, August 21, 2014

Marketing Education 3.0

We did not jump lightly back into our professional learning activities when teachers came back last Thursday.  We went straight to work on revisiting our campus mission statement.  It was developed 7 years ago when the campus opened, but it was time for a revisit .  Many things had changed in the seven years since Eagle Ridge opened it's doors and what we found both from staff and community, is while a large majority were pleased with the campus, they had zero awareness of what the campus mission was.  Of course we shared the same purpose, but no reflection of the unique identity and values of the campus.  The coolest part of the experiences is that my principal and I took a PBL approach to the learning including challenge briefs, developing research questions, hosting workshops, developing DIY's, in addition to the final task of drafting a mission statement.  Part of the initial experience was watching this video.

It was an awesome day as we tackled not only what we believe and value, but truly look at the possibilities of technology, explored soft skills, investigated employers desires then made connections with our role as elementary level educators!

It couldn't have been more than a day or two and Bernedette Jiwa wrote this post entitled Don't Change Your Pitch, Understand Their Story, that highlighted the importance understanding a story in order to effectively tell a story!  Here are my take aways and connections with the work we did Thursday:
  • The story we tell is changing - the work environment and expectations changed, technology has changed the game (for the better) whether we are talking about the tool to enhance learning or simply the access to information.  We know more about how we learn today than we ever have previously.  With the changes in those areas, it makes sense that the experience of school would look different in order address the changing world for which we are preparing kids!
  • Their story hasn't necessarily changed - I believe that we find that our parents still enter with similar expectations of years ago and that it is completely aligned with their school experiences.  They are weary of desks in groups, there are questions when a pile of papers don't go home weekly and special education is a room at the back of the school that nobody wants to be in.  These are generalities, for sure, but views of schools that I talk to parents about often.
  • Our purpose is still the same - this is specifically mentioned in the video and the post.  This is the common ground that we all start from.  We desire this as professionals and our families certainly desire to have their learners become quality individuals through their education experience.
I see the call to action a choice between two options:
  • Wait it out - we could just pass on the struggle to the next level.  This is a time "when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy" (a favorite Dumbledore quote).  Our students' future is too important, and if we're realistic, there is too much to do to leave it all for later!  Part of our time in learning last Thursday was identifying our role at the elementary level.
  • Tell a better story - when I say better, I don't mean we are doing it poorly, but we can tell a more relatable narrative with an understanding of our families' stories and experiences.  It is highly likely that we share the same experiences!  Where did our story shift?  How can we help them make that shift as well!  Telling a better story has everything to do with building relationships and taking advantage of the tools to make the story relevant!  We have to love them through that change!
How are you helping families and community make the shift to education 3.0?

Ever hustling


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