Genuinely Valuable Members of an Intergenerational Learning Community with Skyler, Rhys, Amelia, and Sam from SpringhouseRead Now
www.instagram.com/5kyl3/Lindsay Lyons : In this episode we get to hear from High School students. These students are members of the Springhouse Community, their names are Skyler, Rhys, Amelia, and Sam. So we have four different students from a range of grades in this school community, and I'm so excited to just introduce and give you a sense of a few of their backgrounds. Just for reference, this episode was recorded in November 16th of 2021.
So the oldest student, or the highest grade student we have on this podcast, is Skyler. He is a senior as well as a student visionary at Springhouse. He works alongside the founding visionary to keep the vision of the school clear, and helped turn the vision into action. In connection with the school, he's also leading events and shows that invite people to take a deeper look at themselves, the world around them, and the ambiguity of life.
Our youngest participant today is thirteen years old, this is Rhys Bowman and she loves to read, write and has also been known to crochet in her free time. She has two younger siblings, a sister and a brother, both of which go to the New River Valley Montessori, and she's been going to Springhouse since September 7th of 2021.
She's first year at Springhouse, who's experienced both private and public schooling, whether it be online or in person, which really helps her to have a well rounded perspective about schooling here in Virginia. So excited for you to hear from all of these folks today - again, Skyler, Rhys, Amelia, and Sam, let's dive into this great conversation with students.
Hi, I'm Lindsay Lyons and I love helping school communities envision bold possibilities, take brave action to make those dreams a reality and sustain an inclusive, anti-racist culture where all students thrive. I'm a former teacher leader turned instructional coach, educational consultant and leadership scholar. If you're a leader in the education world, whether you're a principal, superintendent, instructional coach or a classroom teacher excited about school wide change like I was - you are a leader. And if you enjoy nerding out about the latest educational books and podcasts, if you're committed to a lifelong journey of learning and growth and being the best version of yourself - you're going to love the Time for Teachership podcast.
Let's dive in. Skyler, Rhys, Amelia, and Sam, welcome to the Time for Teachership podcast. I am so excited to have you all on today from Springhouse. We're going to start with just a little bit of intro on, you know, if one of you wants to speak about your school.... and then if you each want to kind of introduce yourself... kind of where you are in terms of your learning journey, whatever feels relevant to share about yourself as a learner or even more broadly, right, as a person. So, I don't know who wants to jump in first, but feel free.
Skyler : I guess I can start here. So, my name is Skyler, my pronouns are he, him. I am a senior here at Springhouse, I've been here since 7th grade, so I've basically had the full run. And I'm also the student visionary who works alongside the founding visionary, whose name is Jenny Finn. Yeah. So.
Rhys : I'm Rhys I use she, her pronouns. This is my first year in Springhouse. I'm in 8th grade and, yeah, this is my... it's a very new experience and I'm really excited to be here because already I've learned a lot.
Sam : My name is Sam. I use he, him pronoun. I'm in the middle of cohort here at Springhouse and this is my first year.
Amelia : My name is Amelia, I'm happy with all pronouns. I'm in 11th grade and I work with Piper Pollack to help, like, design the funding model.
Lindsay : This is so cool. And so you're already speaking to some roles that students don't typically have in schools that are more traditional settings or institutionalized settings. And so I am really excited to dig into that a bit further - but I'd love for someone to kind of give me a summary of, like, what is it like at Springhouse in comparison to... I'm not sure if you all started in more traditional places, you know, prior... like in elementary school, prior to coming to Springhouse - but what makes Springhouse different or unique? Or what is it about Springhouse that you think people should know as they're listening who may not be familiar with, you know, different models of education?
Sam : Well, I feel like at Springhouse... as I went to public school for ten years before I came here... and I feel like at this place I am much... I'm more than just a number for my grade and, like, I'm much more than what my grades are.
Speaker:: I know that I've switched between private and public and, like, independent schools a lot - and the difference definitely between Springhouse, like Sam said, is that you're not just your grade, you're an actual human being and not just like a number who's learning and might take a different pace. While as in public school it's a little harder.
Skyler : Beyond it just not being a number, I think it's... it actually goes a lot deeper than that. It goes to a level of... you're not just a person, you're a member of this community, you are a friend... you know... you are a genuinely valuable member of this group. And it's not like it's, like, some, like, exclusive, like, membership club, but it's, like, we deeper than just, you know... you're not a number, you're, like truly, truly, truly seen at a real level.
And you also are given the opportunity not just to be seen, but to see as well. So it's a two way back... it's like... it's like... it also is like, it's not even just two ways, it's all different ways of, like, of feeding and nourishing yourself and nourishing other people and it's a whole community, And that goes beyond age, and that goes beyond, you know, where you... where you live... it goes deeper than that. And that's why Springhouse, as an organization, isn't just a day school program for teenagers - it also has opportunities for adults, it also has opportunities for young children. And so it's, like, deeper than just being a school we're also a... the word that we've used in the past is the Intergenerational Learning Community.
Lindsay : That is so beautiful. I love that, an Intergenerational Learning Community. And so, as you're describing this, to me it feels like... and I know, Skyler, you are saying you hold the role of the student visionary, I think you said, right? And so that I think speaks to my first question around this idea of really thinking about what is possible for learning organizations and beyond the, you know, traditional way we tend to kind of think about education. And so I love Dr Bettina Love - her book We Want to Do More Than Survive is one of my favorite educational books,
and in it she talks about this idea of freedom dreaming and so really like dreaming about the possible in ways that advance freedom and she talks specifically about them as dreams grounded in the critique of injustice, which I just think is a fabulous quote. And so as I say that and you're kind of thinking about the dream that you hold for learning communities, either your own or learning communities more broadly, you know - what is that dream that you have for kind of what education could be? What do you wish school was like? And anyone can start?
Speaker : I know that for me, what I would dream of, what school would be like is... it's very similar. It probably... there's a lot of similarities in Springhouse, it's just kind of being able to know that there's a lot of different intelligences rather than just mathematical or scientific intelligences. Is that there's different ways that people learn and that they're not just their grades and how they're ranked in that specific academic intelligences. Because I know there's a lot of people that are more creativity... how their intelligence is more focused in creativity, like drawing or in theater or something that's not like the... I don't want to say, like, normal, I guess... or like the standard - I think that what I feel, like, school should be is that everyone is able to learn at their own pace.
And, like, be able to be seen as a human and not just as this standard.
Skyler : Yeah. And I would also add on top of that that when we look at the world around us, I would say there's a lot of stuff that's going on, there's a lot of really challenging things going on in the world today... and I hold the opinion that the leverage point in society where we can really make change, where we can really move the world forward, is in the education system. Education is the leverage point, and education is where... it's where our system starts. And so if we can find a way... well, actually no, we have found a way, and we do orient around life, orient around what the principles of life... we have... not to get super into it, but we have a thing that we share with other organizations that are, you know, wanting to learn from us. We have several principles that we follow, and those principles are taking care of vulnerability, cultivating personhood, building beloved community, respecting the wisdom of the earth, and loving and serving others.
So those are like some principles that we have, and what I would say, in my opinion, if we implement that into a wider school system that can lead to our society and our culture, in at least America as a whole, moving more towards principles like that - or principles that are more life giving than the ones that we currently have.
Speaker : Well, like, yeah, like Skyler was saying, like, children and, like, young people are the future of the world, and if we can teach them to, like, love and be compassionate and, like, care about the earth, then we could... we could see a much brighter future.
Speaker : Something that I see happen at Springhouse, but I think is a part of education that needs to be there, is, like, having it be accessible to lots of different people that could be, like, financially, or, like, the way things are structured, or, like, even... we're kind of far out from, like, town and stuff... we're not exactly in the middle of nowhere, but probably, like, half an hour from town.
So, like, we do a lot of carpooling when, like... I mean we are in a pandemic, but before the pandemic we had a lot of carpooling, but, like, transportation and stuff.
Lindsay : I love that, and I love that each of the things you're speaking to really speak to those larger principles that... that Skyler that you mentioned, as well, and this is - I agree that if we could just do that on a broader scale, right? For all schools to be able to tap into those - I think we would have a very different system than we have now. So, as we think about this, I think... especially thinking about a lot of the listeners who typically listen to this podcast are folks who are educators in some respect... in mostly traditional schools. And so I'd be curious to know, and I think you spoke to this a little bit, but if there's, like, something that really helped you shift your mind from that traditional education system that I think many of you spoke to being in prior to being at Springhouse and coming over to Springhouse - like, what was the thing that you had to, kind of, shift your thinking around? Or what would be the thing that you think listeners would be really, you know, they would benefit from shifting their thinking around in order to really live out that dream that you've been describing so far?
Speaker : I think that a really important part of Springhouse is that we, like, really value emotions and, like, take the time to listen and care about people. We have, like, mentorships so that, like, every learner has mentor, even that staff has mentors, so, like, you have someone to go to and, like, trust with things that are happening. And I think that if, like, emotions were, like, valued and respected then it would be good.
Speaker : I feel like there is such... it's such a community, like, when I came here... because it's not... it's definitely not what I was expecting, like, it's... we're all very close to each other I feel like, especially with, like, the staff and, like, student relationships with, like... with, like, mentors and stuff like that. So it's really healthy and, yeah, it's giving me, like, a much broader sense of community and, like, having, like, a place to belong than any other school has ever done.
Rhys : Yeah, I think the mentorships really did help with, like, the transitioning between public school and here. You also kind of have to get in the mindset that, like, you don't have to be the best in, like, a specific thing. Because it's all about learning - that's kind of what you come to school to do, and here you're able to just not be the best at something and be able to learn, and grow from it. And I think that's something that, like, I had to, like, think about for a little bit because it was kind of hard because I came from, like, a, like, a school situation where if I was not the best then I would feel like I was...So coming here and being able to just learn instead of just having to be the best is definitely something that was helpful as well.
Skyler : Yeah, I love that. I would love to add on top of everything, like, I love everything that y'all just said. And also I think, like, one thing that I really think about when I think about how you can bring this at a smaller scale into a, you know, in your class in like a public school setting,
I think about trust. I think about how the importance of learner agency and learner trust - and that's a trust that goes both ways. Right now we are all students here, there is no facilitator watching us, there is no... we are in these rooms alone because they trust us - and in turn we trust them. And so there's this trust that needs to be there. And something to invite the student to something bigger, something... And I see, like, a higher power, not, like, you know, like some... some, like, religious thing... I mean a higher power is in the group, the community that you're in - that's a higher power that if you contribute to, you can make that higher power stronger. And so if that becomes clear, not just through words, but through actions and through the way that you structure everything, that will invite students into something that they would have never tried otherwise.
Lindsay: Wow, these are wonderful ideas. And so I'm thinking about... and I like, Skyler, that you were kind of starting to take us there, too, so this is a great segue. You know, what does this look like to be able to bring these mindset shifts and these dreams that we just described into... perhaps in small waves at first... into a more traditional, perhaps public school setting? And I'm curious to know what are... what are the actions, like, what does it look like at the practical level for, you know, a learning guide? Like, what would a learning guide do? Or an educator do? What would a learner experience? Like, what are the things that... as educators are listening... they can take action on, you know, tomorrow in their class or in their school communities or learning environments more broadly?
Speaker : I think that maybe one thing might just be able to kind of get in the headset or, like, think about how everyone learns differently. So, say, if in public school there's a kid who likes to draw a lot... maybe their math class... maybe somehow try to incorporate and, like, understand - try to help the kid understand what's going on and maybe have them do the assignment through something that they're good at.
Whether it be (unintelligible) understand. Just get in the headset that everybody kind of learns differently, is what I'd say.
Skyler : Yeah. I mean, like, this has been a defined like, I'm... the reason why I'm in the role that I'm in is because I'm a... I'm a big vision guy, and I really struggle with the entire bringing it down thing. But, yeah, I would say... I would say... and this is maybe not something that you can do, like, tomorrow, this is a little bit of a bigger thing, but, like, the complete removal of assessment helps big time. We, as a school, have gone through a lot. I mean in my six years of being at the school, there has been a shift in the way that we do assessments every year, which... it went from, like, you have to do a presentation to you have, like, grades to... you know... we have, like, a special assessment thing. It's like a scale of, like, one to four, and now It's like none of that. Now it's just, like,, let's talk about it, let's just talk about where we're... let's talk about what you're good at, what you maybe are not good at
and let's just have a conversation. And that's what we're doing right now, actually. We're currently in our, quote, it's called a "Reflection of Learning Week". And so... and everybody just has conversations about the skills that we practice in the courses. In the sense of, like, in a teacher public school type of setting, I would say allow, like, allow for failure, like, create projects that are not something that... create projects and allow the kids to fail. And I don't mean, like, set it up for failure - but set up, like, create a project that is challenging and don't baby it. Don't say, like, you should do this next and you should do this next - maybe if they reach out to you and they're, like, I need some support here, maybe yeah,, totally do that. But, you know, creating... creating... again... the learner... giving a learner a task and a vision to put together and... and use, is really special.
Yeah. Excellent. Amelia, Sam, did you want to weigh in - I can't remember if you spoke on this question yet? I can't remember if we did, but something that I can add is I think just, like, getting lower involvement where you can, it could be like really small or like huge, but just, like, actively trying to get learner voices and, like, hear what they have to say about things. If you're going to make like a decision about your class or your school, ask the people in it. Absolutely. So well said, I think that's so critical. Yeah, I think that, like, you're at Springhouse, we definitely have like are like a lot of voices are definitely more heard and then, like, some other school settings that I've been to and I feel like, and I feel like that gives a more of a mutual respect for, like, students and teachers... or I guess I should say like students and teachers... but, like, yeah, like the learners and, like, yeah.
And I think that if other... if other schools would implement that more. if they yeah, they a bit, like, hear us, like, hear, like, the students more, I feel like that would be really beneficial.
Lindsay: Yeah,, and I'd love to hear... and any one of you can speak either Sam if you want to follow up on that or I know, Amelia, you spoke that as well, you know, that idea of student voice and learner voice - what does that actually look like for someone who is, you know, teaching in this typical traditional public school and they're thinking, you know, to what degree do I engage learners in conversation - or when do I engage learners? Is this like a daily conversation? Is this like, as I'm starting to build a unit and we're, like, co -creating the unit together? Is it something that you have an opportunity to do, you know, when... when, like, Skyler, you spoke about, for example, the assessment changes that have been made over time, you know, is that something that learners were involved in? And at what part of the process or, you know, throughout the process? So I don't know if anyone wants to speak to any of those pieces, but I'd love to just get clear on, you know, how does that... how does that work?
Amelia: We have some, like, smaller and larger ways that we bring it in. Because, I mean, a fun thing about Springhouse is we're, like, constantly changing and reimagining how we're doing things. So, like, we had committees and now we don't have committees anymore - now there's just, like, people who can get together, committees when they see a need... and so having, like, we call it "The Round Table" and it's like a group of (unintelligible) Skyler and I are both on it, so kind of get to convey... it's not exactly like learners to the staff members, but sometimes it's like learner stuff to, like, (unintelligible) 'cause they're not often as involved there today, but... and then some smaller things we do is, like, we do a lot of discussions just, like... even if it's just, like, an in-class discussion... then we can just discuss and see where it takes us.
And we do, like, very regularly, just, like, check-ins at the beginning of class - they could be, like, fun check-ins, like what type of animal are you today? Or they could be more serious check-ins, like "How's the course going for you?" And also because I think that we have this trust - if sometimes there is, like, something that's happening that's not being brought up then at least I... and I think probably most of the student body... feels comfortable going to staff members to, like, talk about things that are happening during the school just because we, like, understand that they'll hear us and so...
Skyler : Yeah.. I think that... I think about restorative justice here, how like, you know, kind of, you know, adding on to what you're saying, Amelia, and, yeah, I... it's, like... and that ties... like it really all ties down to trust. Is kind of like what I've realized over the time is, like, I trust that I can make a mistake and it's not the end of the world, you know. And that's... and it's okay to make mistakes and it's okay to be a jerk sometimes. And it's okay to... to, you know, deal with, like, all of these, like, facets and deep things that, like, we experience as people.
And I just really... it's like... and I guess... I guess it's just something that, like, is really like if you want something to happen now in your... in your classroom, I would say, yeah, again, they're just, like, absolutely, truly trust your students. And at first they might be like, oh, they might, like, not know how to deal with that and eventually, and relatively pretty quickly, I think that trust will actually become a mutual thing. And then your relationship really becomes that - a relationship - and not just like a, you know, big talking head in front of a bunch of people who don't care. Um and so... yeah
LIndsay : Absolutely. Thank you so much for just speaking to that, that clearly????, you know, how how does that look? So, one of the things I'm just really curious about... and this is more of a fun question here... but this idea of, you know, what your experience has been like and all these positive things you've been talking about - is there, like, one learning experience that you've had that really influenced you or has been really memorable or helped you a lot?
Something that you would want to share with people to kind of illustrate what life at Springhouse like
Skyler : Something that comes up for me is a few years ago, like, yes, like, in, like, four years now - I was, like, I was this kid who, like... and not to get super... not only to get... trying to do it without getting political here... but as a young... as a young kid, I was very convinced by, like, conservative internet stuff, and I, like, got like very trapped in it, and it, like, lead to, like, homophobia for myself and, like, all this and, like, really messed up stuff that I was thinking at the time. And then Jenny... who's the founding visionary here... did a class called Restore... No, it wasn't, it was called... oh I forgot what it's called... but it was... it was about white privilege, and it was about... It was co-led by Jenny, who's a white woman, and Shauna Tucker, who's a black woman, and they... and we just had like, all different types of people come in and we discussed privilege - and it was a very, very moving experience for me and really pulled me into, like... "Oh wow!" It taught me a lot about empathy and a lot about the mistakes that I had made, and the privilege that I have. And so in that sense that class was extraordinarily moving for me.
And it was all... it was called Courageous Conversations, that was what it was called. And it was just conversations, we were all in a circle and just talking about race and privilege in all different aspects of that stuff. And, yeah.
Lindsay : Thank you so much for your vulnerability and sharing that story, Skyler, I really appreciate it. Rhys, Amelia or Sam - do you want to share one?
Amelia : A couple of times that stand out to me are the times that I've been invited to help do things that I wasn't, like, expecting to be asked to help with. Like,, I think my second year at Springhouse, I was asked to help MC a fundraising event - and it was, like, "Wow, I get to help lead this with, like, a community elder!" And I was not expecting, like, being invited to leadership like that - and it was... it made me feel really, like, valued in the community. And then I've got into, like, MC a couple other events, like I got to help Chris Wolfe, one of our staff members, with our presentation night last year - and that was also really special - just because getting invited into, like, leadership that I've always thought were, like " Oh, those are, like, adult roles and you can't do that because, whatever the reason is, you're young and you're unprepared or whatnot." But actually doing it, and it going well, it just builds so much confidence and it was just so special those times.
Lindsay : Amelia, thank you so much for sharing. Rhys, did you have something you wanted to say?
Rhys : Yeah., I think one thing that's really popping out is actually when I was invited to,like, be on the podcast. I actually was... I didn't really... if I... we kind of did like a raise your hand thing and I was going to, but I didn't really think I'd be able to, like, do it anyway, so I kept my hand down, and this one person was like " Hey, I think Rhys should do this." And I was like... and it was very (unintelligible), it made me really happy. It made me feel very seen. And I think that was really something that's definitely gonna stick with me for a long time.
Lindsay : That's so beautiful, thank you so much for sharing that. And I'm so grateful to that person who recommended you, because you have been wonderful so far. Thank you. Sam, did you want to share a story?
Sam : Well, just, like... we've been doing our reflections of learning for... on, like, the Monday, and a bit of today, and just, like, hearing what a lot of my... hearing what my teachers had to really, like, say about me - like, what they, like, noticed and picked up on and, like, my learning, really made me feel, like... it really made me feel heard and like "Oh, they noticed this about me," or, like, something similar. And, yeah, that's just, like, really moving to me that they... that they'd noticed, and, like, and even noticed... like, noticed that, like, enough to be, like "Hey you do this a lot and I think that's really something you should reflect on."
Lindsay " Yeah, thank you for speaking to that, because I have seen that in my survey design research in terms of the questions that we ask students and so, you know, not qualitative conversational responses where students are explaining, but just the survey answers they select around a question like that - How often do you feel like your teachers notice you, or notice that you're upset, or notice that you did this. And it's, it's really, you know, nationwide. Anecdotally, just looking at the data I've seen, is really low, like, it's such a basic thing, but it's really low, typically, for students. and I appreciate you speaking to that. (Unintelligible) it's such a basic thing that we can do, right? Is just pay attention to the folks around us and that goes a really long way. So I really appreciate that. And I love that you spoke too, in reference to, you know, you're in Reflection Week, and thinking about that. And so maybe we'll jump to that question of what is something that you have been learning about lately, whether that's, you know, the content in terms of the actual stuff you're learning this week, or this past unit that you've done or, you know, however you wanna segment time? Or it could be kind of like on a, you know, a skill-based or self - reflective level of as you're reflecting on the things you've done, you know, what is it that you're learning about yourself or your skill sets or something like that?
So feel free to interpret that question in any way that you'd like, I'd love to hear from each of you.
Sam : Well, I feel like I've learned that like, I'm a lot like... this sounds weird... but, like, I'm a lot better at school than I thought I was. And, like... I've worked, like, for, like, these, like, years and just thought to myself, like, maybe I'm just, like, not smart, I guess. But now were, like, coming to, like, Springhouse that kind of made me realize that they're reflecting on all of a sudden being able to, like, learn all the stuff. I was just like, "Oh, I can learn, I just wasn't doing it." Not really. Just wasn't like, really able to do it the way that was beneficial to me. And I feel like that's, like, a big part of, like, I was like... it's very individual - like, every student's different - and they see that
Lindsay : Thanks Sam. Anyone else wanna share?
Rhys : I think for me it was kind of like relearning how to learn - if that makes any sense? Because I remember when I was in public school everything that I was taught... I can't remember, like, any of it. And now that I'm here I'm kind of relearning how to learn and remember, kind of, like, what I'm learning - and it's a lot easier because... how do I put this?
I kind of... they put it... they teach it in a way that all learners can understand and if a learner can't you can go up and ask a question. Like, you can actually ask a question and you'll be able to, like, be, like, "I don't know this, I need a little help." And I think that that's... yeah it's really great.
Lindsay : Thank you Rhys. Skyler or Amelia- anything you guys have been learning about lately?
Skyler : Um, yeah. But so... in our main course so we usually learn... what's it called... I forget the terminology... phenomenon... Is that the word? Do you know Amelia?
Amelia : No.
Skyler : We learned... we usually learn by taking a big subject, and then pulling different things out of it and studying things out of it. We've been doing a course on culture - and we've been looking at how culture... we kind of looked at culture through the lens of the Icarus myth... I don't know if you know that one, but it's the classic fly too high, low, fire under the sun.
And we were talking about, like, how does society, like, how does our culture, at least in America, go too high or too low - and where is that... where is that land? And then we kind of, like, led to this place of thinking about this term called Monoculture. Now, it's, you know, it's usually used in, like, farming - but in this context it's like a sociopolitical concept around a culture that focuses on one thing. one thing smushes all the other, you know, little things that come up through the cracks... or at least tries to. And so, what that's led to is, you know, me and Jenny are currently working on projects with the mission in mind of disrupting the Monoculture. And, you know, the kind of... the conclusion that I, personally, came to in the course was that our Monoculture orients around money, and success, and being better than the person next to you.
And, you know, in the course, we really asked the question "Can we go deeper?" And so that's kind of a really, really, moving course for me.
Lindsay : Thanks Skyler, that's awesome. I want to take that course.
Skyler : It's really cool.
Lindsay : Amelia, did you want to share one?
Amelia : I would. I've been having a hard time choosing, because, like, all of the courses I've done have been, like, really great. But I think the course that usually stands out to me when I've asked questions like this is last year I was, like, mostly virtual for the whole year, and not everyone was, and that was pretty challenging. But in the middle of the year, there was a course... I believe it was called Body and Isolation... and it was kind of an anatomy course... because we were learning a lot about the brain and, like, the brain's reaction to things, and, like, all the different departments do. But then it also had various parts like movement and stuff. I'd never taken a course with Roxanne before, and it was really helpful for me on zoom, because the zoom week was just like, zoom... you're sitting down for the whole time.
But Roxanne would always be, like, "Okay, we're standing up, we're moving around, we're doing some breathing exercises." And it was really nice to help, like, recenter into the body, and we're actually here learning about this. And then the learning was more valuable and engaging because of that. And we also learned in that course a lot of different things like the brain's reaction to trauma and like breathing things you can do to help you when, like, you're going into a 'fight or flight' response and, like, it was a very engaging course for being on zoom. There were a lot of slide shows and, like, discussions and things. And so it was course that really lifted me up and let me get through the rest of the year
Lindsay : And it sounds really relevant to the time in the context of Covid, right? And just, like, everything feels really practical, like, those breathing strategies, I'm sure the standing and moving and, like, the learning about trauma and, like, Covid being a collective trauma, right? Societally, it sounds really, really on the mark that someone was, like, this is a course we need to teach now and in this way.
Excellent. All right, so, as we wrap up the episode, I'm just curious to know... as we talked about so many things... So, as folks are listening, and they're kind of, you know, closing out their commute, or going for a run, or however they're listening... and just thinking, "I want one tangible thing to kind of remember as they close the episode." So, something that either one of us have said so far, or a call to action, like an action stuff they can take - anything that you think that we've talked about, that you want to just highlight or emphasize as we close that could be the takeaway item for someone who's ending the episode now - any thoughts on what that might be?
Skyler : If you... I've said this earlier... if you teach adolescents, you gotta trust them, you gotta trust them. The thing is, we are more capable than you might think. We are very capable of doing really awesome stuff. But often, how I look at it in the (Unintelligible) things that I've experienced,
it felt like I haven't gotten the opportunity to really test myself, really push myself, really go to the edge of my capacity. And so, you know, that's one really tangible thing is just, like, actually do the practices in yourself to learn how to trust your students in a way that yeah, you know... learning to trust them, and give them opportunities to test both yourself and your trust of them, you know. Be like, you know, "I want you to set up something and I depend on you," and allow them to figure it out - because we can do some really cool stuff if we are given the opportunity... and I think that you're... that part of your job as a facilitator is to give us the opportunity. So, yeah.
Lindsay : Beautifully said. What other things do people want to highlight?
Amelia : I think that, in connection with you, Skyler, if you're a learner listening to this, try to trust your facilitator, because then you can make that connection.
Lindsay : Great suggestion, Amelia, thank you. Say more, Rhys?
Rhys : I think that, like, listening to your students, like, listening to your learners and the learners listening to the teachers, like, is such a crucial part of, like, of the healthy school environment. And I think that, like, yes, so much, like how Skyler was saying - how, like, capable adolescents are like, okay, well we are... we could be so much more capable if we had great resources to do it.
Skyler : Yes,, thank you.
Speaker : I think that, like, what everyone, especially Skyler, was talking about, is that definitely that mutual trust. and just being able to recognize and understand that everybody learns differently and that some... yeah just like Sam said, just being able to challenge, yeah... sorry, that didn't make much sense and (unintelligible) interpreted as well.
But not really, I don't know,
Lindsay : I think that makes perfect sense. Yeah, I think and that's a really, really great point that I think all of these responses seem connected to that idea of relationality, right? And in building that relationality with students and fostering that sense of not everyone learns the same, right? And we need to listen to be able to figure out how students learn, right? And there's all these interconnections between what you all just highlighted - we need to build that trust to be able to have that relationship in the first place. So, I think this is brilliant wisdom to be able to share at the close of the episode. And the very last question... I'm not sure if you all have a space online that folks could learn more about the school? I know Jenny had spoken on a previous episode with... that I had with Jenny... she spoke about the school webpage. So I don't know if there are other things like class blogs or project spaces that people can go to, to see any of your work... or if you, you know, if you're wanting to connect with folks individually... absolutely feel free to share that as well... but I'm just wondering what people can do to kind of follow up and learn more about you all and your work
Skyler : Immediately off the top of my head here...
the school, me and Jenny and a few other people, really worked a few years ago on designing education design principles... the ones that I told you... and they are part of this thing that we call Sourced Design - and we have all types of opportunities for educators and business owners and nonprofit people, but to really study and look into it. And so we do have a web page, the source to design dot org, where you can really dig into, like, the real nitty gritty of what we've been talking about here.
Lindsay : Perfect. And I'll link to that in the show notes, too. So, for anyone who's driving while listening, you can grab that, they're in the blog post when you're done driving. Thank you all so, so much, I just want to reiterate my gratitude for you all taking time out of your day to come together and talk about this and provide some really insightful commentary and suggestions for educators who are trying to do the great things that you're speaking about today.
So, thank you all - Skyler, Rhys, Amelia, Sam, thank you so much for for being on the podcast.
Thanks for listening, amazing educators. If you loved this episode, you can share it on social media and tag me at Lindsay Beth Lyons, or leave a review of the show so leaders like you will be more likely to find it. Until next time, Leaders, continue to think big, act brave, and be your best self.
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Lindsay Lyons (she/her) is an educational justice coach who works with teachers and school leaders to inspire educational innovation for racial and gender justice, design curricula grounded in student voice, and build capacity for shared leadership. Lindsay taught in NYC public schools, holds a PhD in Leadership and Change, and is the founder of the educational blog and podcast, Time for Teachership.