Mike may have taken the reins for a west coast wrap-up, but this week, his eloquent dialogue and witty banter makes way for my more colloquial summary. The week in review!
At the end of a long meeting yesterday, we were pleasantly surprised to be featured on Mind/Shift, an education blog most of us read daily. Speaking to writer Katrina Schwartz gave us a perspective of ourselves and other educational movements that we just don’t have from the inside looking out. It’s gratifying to be mentioned alongside other shifts in education.
Working backwards, we met with Stephanie Rogen for a couple hours yesterday at her Greenwich Leadership Partners office in Old Greenwich. Stephanie is fantastic at offering insight to group dynamics and managing a meeting. We talked leadership structure, overall student and teacher goals, how to make the schedule work, and our own internal workings as a team. We left with a little homework and feel extremely lucky to have her as part of the team. (Stephanie is closely tied to the film Most Likely to Succeed that just premiered at Sundance. Check it out! We’re trying to get a screening set up if possible.)
We’re relieved to be past the initial rush of recruitment and back to planning what we will actually be doing next year. After some reflection, we decided we might have gone overboard and sacrificed too much of our own disciplines in the name of cross-disciplinary study. The separation between humanities (Eng/SS) and STEM (math/sci) is natural and exists for a reason. I didn’t realize this until Mike finally said to me in California, “when are you building stuff? Where’s the making and designing? The cool labs?” He’s right. For a large part of our second quarter, we met in the middle for all subjects and it was a net loss for students. We’ve started paring what we have and making the best parts bigger. To be clear, we’re not straying from our year long arc or our common areas of study. We’re reverting to a clearer STEM/humanities split than we were thinking two months ago.
We’ve got some of our staff scheduled for dedicated collabs with us (via openings in their schedules). Having people to listen to ideas and look for connections we might not have thought of is a major help.
We have a kickoff Trailblazers Event scheduled for Wednesday for all Innovation Lab students and for some, their invitees. It’s a way for both applicants and a friend to get a taste of what Innovation Lab could be like. That will certainly be the highlight of next week.