Even though today was weed eating and mowing, it was good to be home. The work in the yard was also a good opportunity to reflect on the week and the work. It was different living in a dorm room, eating three full meals+ every day, and teaching and being in meetings until after nine Monday through Wednesday.
Sharing our learning journey and the conversations it sparked in our module reinforced for me that the time and energy we have spent on creating a foundation for reflective conversations may be a significant factor in what sets us apart from many other school systems. The more I engage with others and the feedback I get about our work, makes this more evident so that even I can accept it. Dawn, Mary Jane, and I shared many tools, but the one that resonated most for many in the module is not a system tool, but something that we put together to capture our work.
We filled it out to show growth in or capacity to engage in reflective conversations and move an aspiration to a shared vision, two of the three legs of the systems thinking stool. It helped them see that to change their current reality they would need to find and intentionally use structures and strategies aligned with the aspiration they have identified. We had discussed the possibility of also using the tool in our leadership meeting with principals and teachers and after teaching this module it makes good sense to use it to review the importance of the three legs and the need to revisit the tools that have influenced the cultures in our current reality. These tools include mental models, ladders of inference, SPACE, balancing advocacy and inquiry, public/private, Influencer, see/feel change, the power of story . . . We have hired many new staff since the last time some buildings and we have revisited these tools so it is time.
We can be proud of what we have accomplished and who we are knowing that we have much yet to learn and new structures and strategies to create and influence our future. Being a part of this learning journey is energizing and rewarding for me. How about for you? It would be good to hear the reflections from others that shared the Camp Snowball experience with us.