I haven’t posted much about this one, even though it’s progress has been ever slowly increasing.
Here’s the back story: A few years back, another teacher, Angela, and I were lucky enough to get selected to be a part of an apprenticeship through Kansas University Center for Research on Learning (or KU-CRL) where we ended up getting certified to lead high quality professional development workshops to other educators. Although the focus was to lead workshops for teachers in our district, really we are qualified to host our own workshops independently. A year ago, we did that several times. They were very rewarding experiences, but setting up and executing those workshops was a full time job ON TOP of our teaching jobs. It was very hard to do.
So my goal this year was to do several in the summer and really make some cash. But after we did some serious talking, we came to the decision that independent workshops were simply too much to handle (the planning, recruiting, etc was too much) and coordinating a comfortable space was difficult. In July we decided to shift our focus. Perhaps a college or other district might take us on. Thus we started networking; throwing out some feelers.
We met with the new Associate Dean at Portland State University who has since asked us to write up a course proposal to work with pre-service teachers in the spring or summer. A woman from our school district who runs the new teacher mentorship program got in touch with us and we have a meeting with her in a couple weeks. And finally a couple people from KU-CRL put us in touch with some other teachers who are interested in working with us.
As you can see, the wheels are in motion. Let me tell you, Angela and I are good. Like really good. We are an effective team in so many ways. We’ve run workshops where even the most grisly and abrasive teachers who were forced to come end up leaving with smiles and thank you’s. People laugh; people cry (no really, they do, in an emotional “thank you for listening” way); people feel valued.
While this goal may not get completed exactly as I had planned back in January, I can tell you that I’m actually more pleased with the decisions and connections we have made to date rather than the original plan of going rogue.