It’s hard to believe we’re coming to the end of our first year at the Workshop. What an incredible year it has been. Engaging students in solving real problems – doing real work in this world – has been both exhilarating and exhausting. To do real work first requires the desire to do so and second, the skills to make it happen. Very quickly we created a community of learners that supported and grew the desire to do the work. And while this type of community is not often found in schools, it’s doesn’t require magic to create. I think it’s true of all human beings – teenagers and adults – that when we are valued as critical members of a community, then we act as such. We all posses unique skills and wonderful ideas and creating a community where those are valued, needed, and called upon is the basis of what we have.
The second part is a challenge. How do you create a balance that puts students at the center of the learning process – that enables ownership over their learning while putting them in a position to succeed? How do you support this role while helping them develop the skills – academic, hands-on, interpersonal, self-awareness, soft, hard, medium – skills to do real work in this world? That part of the work is endless.
This year has been my best year professionally ever. Everyday I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with amazing students and equally amazing adults building the most amazing community of learners I have ever seen. And it’s exhausting. But then again, anything worthwhile usually is.