Ever since the Fall of 2013, when I happened upon an NCTE session in which several teachers from the Opal School shared the incredible work they did with students in grades Pre-K-5, I was enamored. Their guiding principles, which were (and continue to be) influenced by the early childhood schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, grounded in research around neuroscience, and reflective of constructivist approaches to teaching and learning, matched my own. The compositions that the Opal School teachers shared during their session, created while students were engaged in Story Workshop, moved me deeply. I was amazed, intrigued, inspired–and determined to someday witness in person that which I had only learned about that morning.
Two summers ago, I was able to realize this dream as I made the trek across the country with eight of my NH colleagues to participate in Opal School’s Summer Symposium, an experience I wrote about here. This June, I have the honor of speaking at their 2019 Summer Symposium, centered around the theme of Growing Changemakers. Throughout our three days together, my fellow learners and I will grapple with such questions as:
- How can schools be places where innovation and experimentation flourish?
- How do we support children to productively break rules [in order] to move the culture in new directions?
In wanting to give back to those educators that have moved my own learning this year in ways I could hardly have imagined, I asked my Opal School colleagues if, as part of my speaking fee, I could sponsor someone’s registration for the 2019 Summer Symposium. Being the generous folks they are, they said I could!
So: if you are a Native educator or an educator of color who would like to attend this year’s Summer Symposium and are able to be there for the duration (6/19/19-6/21/19), please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org before 1/31/19 that briefly answers the following questions:
- What is your name and the grade level of the students you teach?
- Why are you interested in attending this year’s Summer Symposium at the Opal School?
- Are you able to secure funding to travel to the Symposium in June?
I will draw the name of one individual on Sunday, March 31st and will let you know via email if you are the recipient of a complementary registration for this year’s Symposium, valued at $595.00.
Good luck–and please share with any interested colleagues!