We just finished a districtwide Pro-D, where for the first time we squeezed 2000 people into one building. So parking was quite hairy and the deluge of rain didn’t help matters. Once inside, the atmosphere was positively electrifying (thanks to the facilitators and participants). Our opening started with North’s own Viking marching band, keynote Abe Fernández (Director of Collective Impact, the Children’s Aid Society and Co-director of South Bronx Rising Together) and then hundreds of workshops and ‘edcamp-ish’ conversations to choose. My team of three led four sessions – a crazy rewarding day of connected energy.
Here are some things I learned:
- Building community and togetherness is everything even though the only building that can handle the numbers is a very old one! Crossed our fingers as fuses blew…but all was wonderfully organized. North’s school staff and students were amazing!
- New experiences have to be connected to what you understand and then move from there
- Individuals make personal conscious decisions to learn new things. What is ultimately worth learning is difficult and messy. It takes courage to make the leap.
- Sometimes people will try something only because they know you will support them
- When you see something with a new lens, you can never go back
Pro-D, while meant as a learning experience, is really an event. How will you carry these ignited sparks and these challenges to thinking into your classrooms and offices? That’s where the magic happens.