@nancyactive 9 months, 4 weeks ago
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.
One idea I am just having is to suggest readings that we feel are a part of our “juice” in this movement.
I would also like to explore and share readings that touch on subjects that come up in our school, like choosing to use minecraft and pokemon and the awesome these tools can create. Or read @abby‘s dr.who marathon…[Read more]
@Nancy I found it difficult to get my hands on a copy of this book during the first two/three weeks of holding this intention. I understand the problem of it being just too difficult a read or being too dense to read and respond to with all of the other projects I’m engaged with. So yes, failure in that sense on my end too. I know I’m not th…[Read more]
I’m at ALC Mosaic for two weeks! Here’s some intentions for my time here:
Admissions, Finance, and Fundraising working group meetings
Get a good grip on finances/cash-flow situation
Get the ALC Mosaic PayPal account set up for the charity rate fee to support upcoming fundraiser
Open another bank account at CMCU for Agile Learning Centers to support network-based donations
Order a new bank card (mine got blocked)
Support/facilitate the Community Meeting on Sunday
Keep the admissions process rolling for NYC applications (email and communications for the students and new applicants)
Facilitate Parent Interest Night (here) next week
Spend time with Mosaic students and support staff in tightening up some ALC structures
FINALLY update the Tools and Practices WIKI on agilelearningcenters.org
Plan Vegas/Grand Canyon trip as well as Christmas/New Years plans with @nancy
Spend time with Mosaic families (this weekend in particular)
Make some more Google Adwords ads for Mosaic
Support staff in getting some backlogged items across the staff Trello board
Move ALF Summer 15 planning forward
HERE WE GO!
Over the past several days at ALC Mosaic, epic Pokemon battles and trading have been taking place. I remember the good ol’ days when Pokemon first hit the global market and almost two decades later, the hype has not subsided.
I was always skeptical and detached from the Pokemon movement. I never fully grasped the concept of the game and was personally more interested in other fads such as Furby, Tamagotchi and pogs.
After witnessing the focus and commitment to Pokemon at Mosaic, I have a newfound appreciation for the game. With the guidance of my peers at school, I have had the opportunity to form new insights to the skills and lessons Pokemon can teach.
Pokemon Lesson 1 Organization: Many of my fellows treat their cards with utmost respect. The cards are not mere toys but emblems of potential. Some enclose each card in a personal case or organize them in elaborate binders, categorizing the pokemon by type, strength, rarity and evolution. I am reminded of the star pupils in high school, praised for their color-coded binder tabs and individual plastic sleeves for handouts… I found myself thinking: “If only I took to Pokemon at a younger age, I perhaps would have found myself capable of organizing my work and possessions in ways that were useful and meaningful to me.” What’s more, the cards are then organized in play, where planning and strategy come into being.
Lesson 2 Strategic Planning: Everyone plays the game differently. Some trade with intentions of building extremely powerful individual cards and will trade a diverse range of other “valuable” cards to make an “undefetable” weapon. Others trade for a diverse range of less amped Pokemon. This dynamic became clear to me when Liam reflected: Something that he didn’t know before today was the he could beat Ayan’s most powerful card.
Pokemon Lesson 3 Equitable Trade: Half the fun of Pokemon is exchanging them in the Pokemon Trading Space. Trading occurs before battles, and the players schedule these events on the weekly and daily boards. External and internal factors influence the value and attributes each places on the cards. An equal trade is felt by each party and this process can occur with ease and/or challenge. By the end of each day this week so far, the ones trading Pokemon all day reflect that this is what they like doing because they enjoy doing so. I was given starter cards by Liam so that I could engage in the upward spiral of Pokemon trade.
Pokemon Lesson 4 Creation: Many hours have been dedicated to drawing Pokemon. @nancy has also spent many hours inventing Pokemon, painting Pokemon, sewing mutant stuffed animal Pokemon…The request for Pokemon art has taken us through many different mediums. I am often approached by students ages 5-11 who are wanting to draw Pokemon. We can focus on this activity from anywhere between 15 minutes to 2 hours. The imagination of the creatures inspire us to create and practice with our hands.
Pokemon Lesson 5 Maths: I am not practiced in math. Calculations involving more than three digits terrify me. On Monday, Ayan demonstrated through simple math in his head how he defeated my Jigglypuff with his Victini. And they do this constantly, with each other.
I am blown away by the imagination of the people of this space. We are each discovering our own tools for growth alone/together.
Before I write about all the fun I’m having, here is an awesome song that Adin @theskycookie introduced me to. Enjoy…
Last Thursday, I got to attend my very first Comic Convention here in NYC and it was pretty ridiculously fantabulous. I went with @abram, Adin @theskycookie, and Douglas @douglasawesome. What I loved most was the abundance of super cool toys and books as well as how much @theskycookie and @douglasawesome were super stoked about being there. I also felt an overwhelming sense of nostalgia when Douglas and I bumped into the game, Sonic The Hedgehog, one of my all time favorite games growing up.
Agile Learning Facilitator (ALF) Weekend up in beautiful Chatham, NY, was such an amazing experience for me. I got to finally meet some of the other ALC Mosaic crew: Dean @dinospumoni and Dan @dthomasson. And then there’s @drew, who holds it down ever so effortlessly at ALC Everett. Since @nancy did such a beautiful job summing up ALF Weekend in her blog post, check THIS out to delve more into what we accomplished overall.
I came away feeling a deep sense of trust and loving connection in our ALF community. Words simply fail to describe how grateful I am to be playing and working with such inspirational individuals.
To reflect further back… Over a year ago, I found myself cultivating a team of dear friends at home on Oahu for my intention of creating a learning resource center. To me, my effort slowly and sadly fizzled out because I found myself struggling to push a group of people who would be PERFECT as resource people to commit to establishing something that I alone (in this context) had the fiery passion for. After letting go of holding so strongly to a narrow pathway of getting things done (I simply didn’t know what I was doing and now, this is much less so), I have been learning so much along the way. This includes but not at all limited to:
my level of trust in specific individuals
discernment among those who can help in what areas, in which ways, and in which phases of development
getting clear on intentions of every individual who expresses an interest in helping me manifest this vision
so much more about myself
In this journey so far, emphasis on my deep gratitude for having magically united with this freshly blossoming ALF family moves beyond the power of words. I’ve known since the start of my process about two years ago that I needed and desired a team of people aligned with my very personal passion for creating powerful spaces for young people to live, learn and thrive in. And so it is–I am among the badass wolf pack with a collective fire toward intentional co-creating and being the change here and now.
My favorite parts about ALF weekend was getting clear on my own intentions and making it known as well as hearing out the intentions and celebrating the strengths of everyone present. For this, we also got to learn about an awesome tool called Metamaps, to digitally organize ourselves much easier on many levels. Overall, I loved everything that came to the surface and although it was slightly overwhelming for me to take in and feel out new friends as well as situations which are seemingly inevitable within any community of purpose, I am incredibly grateful to have witnessed and played a part in the process of deepening trust, understanding and communication with new friends. My intentions coming into ALF weekend was to feel more connected to our ALC community and to laugh a lot.
ALF Weekend intentions: accomplished.
Up next: I will be working with…
@tomis on more marketing stuff such as setting up a documentary screening of Race to Nowhere
@abbyo, @charlotte, @nancy on implementing practices of safe emotional release exercises with kids (and amongst our ALF community as well). Also on creating some sort of check-in system with the intention of clear communication and support for ALFs around any extra-challenging situations that arise.
@nancy, @bear, @tomis, @charlotte, @drew on creating a roadmap and support system for ALFs like me who desire to establish an ALC
@tomis, @bear, @drew on establishing Hawaii’s first ALC (both off and on location) in good time
And this journey continues…
FROM @nancy :
I’m currently visiting the ALC NYC right now and feeling pretty jazzed about some simple things I think I could change up in my small group based off of what I see @RyanShollenberger @AbbyO doing with their “spawn points!”
I attend Abby’s spawn point this morning and saw this sign on the doorway:
Yeah, I really want to copy…[Read more]
I am headed to Providence, RI this afternoon (Tuesday) to spend my birthday with @nancy and schmooze/spread the agile at the Business Innovation Factory summit. I’ll be back at Agile on Friday.
Love that you’re gmail contact for @nancy has the same typo here “Nacy” — kinda sounds like when her mom says her name in her vietnamese accent.
@drew so basically you just want us to add some commentary, not post the whole blog , and link back to the Everett site?
@nancy can you do this for Mosaic’s blog and I’ll do it for NYC
@flotstytree I don’t think they are case sensitive.
@drew did a Google Hangout On Air Tuesday to go over basic steps in blogging. He’ll be posting the video of that soon.
@FLOTSTYTREE are they case sensitive?
Not case sensitive. I’m a genius.
My post on blogging: http://drew.agilelearningcenters.org/2014/09/10/agile-learning-blogging/
kewl! i’ll have to watch soon, once i’ve debugged this desktop machine or on some other device
–thanks for all you do @drew!!!
I am having so much fun!
You both are doing great with building your blog sites. It is about time that I get on board and set my blog up. If I have questions, I’m sure Gabe will be able to help!!!
Not the Target brand! (up & up). I got a bunch of those to save some $$ but they are falling everywhere now! I guess the post-it brand, but I think there’s another brand that @tomis likes too.
“Post-Its” usually work fine.
I guess the one’s I’ve got are just old…
We also got a MVP for the back-end of the Network site sketched out.
I’m gonna try and get a similar content (front-end) sketch sent to drew for the Network site by tomorrow as well.