Slow lines at the bank means I’ve lost half of blogging hour. I intended to finish a post that’s been drafted for a few weeks, but I’ll have to keep that backlogged for now. Instead, here’s a look back at what transpired this week, and what I’m looking forward to in the coming month.
The growth of ALC Mosaic
My week began by finishing up a handful of organizational tasks for ALC Mosaic and reflecting on the cultural progress I have been witnessing there.
Though there were some growing pains at the beginning of the year after splitting the school into two locations (one has ages 3-6 and the other has ages 6-13), the shift has begun to bear fruit. From what I can tell @lacy is finding a nice groove with the youngsters at the Roots of Mosaic program and the culture at the main campus is really starting to gel. The staff are finding their stride, the kids are problem-solving, taking responsibility for much more, and the environment feels joyful and exciting.
Mosaic is poised for significant growth in the next 6 to 12 months. With a solid cultural foundation, some big picture coherence in place, and more organizational structures to support the school, I expect to see some amazing things happening.
I’m excited for the Open House we’ll be doing in January and for the presentation that @leigh put together for such event. I put together a landing page for some Facebook ads that @leigh is going to start running for the school. I’m interested to see how successful they are.
It feels easier to do marketing and outreach in Charlotte than in NYC. It’s a small city where you can find the farmers markets and yoga studios and alternative spaces that harbor our market much easier than in NYC where there’s so much of everything and so many neighborhoods. We still need a lot of SEO help, as that is definitely the most effective way to reach the NYC market.
What I do
I finished a blog post I had been working on for a while at the beginning of the week that describes a process I underwent for categorizing and mapping my work. A meta-retrospective of sorts.
I was excited to get confirmation this week on some talks I will be giving next month, which fulfills on an intention I’ve been holding since last spring and reaffirmed at our ALF Weekend in October. It is juicy for me to give talks in public forums about Agile Learning Centers, and these two talks will be great practice in sharing the story to different audiences from different angles.
The first event will be in NYC at Spotify’s HQ — the final Lean/Kanban Practitioners Meetup of the year. The talk is titled: Agile as Education, which will focus on the Agile Mindset, comparing the Waterfall Method to our Industrial Education Model, and what an Agile Education might look like.
All proceeds will go to the ALC here in NYC! I’m grateful to Jonathan, the group’s organizer for inviting me to speak and for organizing it as a fundraiser for the ALC — super awesome of him.
This talk is titled: “What If Schools Were Actually Collaborative”, and will focus on the ways in which Agile Learning Centers are designed with collaboration in the social DNA — from the micro to macro levels of what we do.
This will be my first time to Vegas, so I’ll definitely get a few hours of poker in (!) and take @nancy to the Grand Canyon 🙂
Planning a Self-Directed Learning Event
I met up with Nikhil this week to discuss plans for hosting an event in the spring. We want to have a big name speak (no spoilers yet) about places in which the new pardigm of education is taking route, then have a panel of folks representing various NYC-based self-directed learning communities. The panel would answer questions about what they do and participants will have a chance to connect with the various communities that align with their needs and interests.
ALF Summer Excitement
I had a great time catching up with @ninablanco this week, who was just in San Francisco for the PSI Advanced: Life Success Course. We had both done the PSI Basic seminar last year (before we knew each other) and @ninablanco decided to keep climbing the latter. It was great to hear about her experience and all the powerful networking she’s been doing towards launching ALC Oahu. I’m so very berry stoked for ALC Oahu and super confident in Nina in being able to make it happen.
Further ALF Summer conversations have ensued this week and a handful of us will be doing some calls on Sunday to continue to flesh out details. We are putting together some information about what it means to become an ALC and maintain that relationship to the network. We are also excited about reorganizing the facilitators for this next ALF Summer so that there are group facilitators and project managers holding for the various outcomes we are committed to.
It feels like a week does not go by without someone reaching out to know how they can start an ALC. I am so stoked to have the new challenges we are facing — scaling and growing with purpose and effectiveness!
At ALC NYC this week
I worked from home twice this week and was able to get a lot done, including the immunization report which kept getting delayed by arduous government software. The days I have been here have been really fun and pleasant.
Today I was able to spend some time connecting with @likeaboss over remaking the GameShifting board. Luca expressed interest in renaming some categories at Change-UP meeting and so I offered to meet with him at 11am to rework the whole board — something I was into. He came and got me at 11am sharp, which is always a good sign that the interest and motivation is actually there.
We spent over an hour redesigning the board and, throwing out categories we weren’t using, inventing new ones, and renaming some things. It was probably the deepest engagement I’ve had with a student over GameShifting, which was really cool and made me excited for all the future potentialities of that tool. Luca said he wants to hold a regular meetup every Thursday to iterate the GameShifting board 🙂
@drew fixed the plugin issue we were having so I can now get to work on a bunch of web development ideas I’ve been having!
I can’t stop listening to this
And…lastly…@whoisthelorax is visiting tonight — excited to have some QT with my best bro from another mo.