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January 31, 2024

Bringing Professional Learning Experiences Home

We never know how our small activities will affect others through the invisible fabric of our connectedness.
– Grace Lee Boggs, 1915-2015, feminist author and activist

Today’s message is shared by early childhood coach Eliana Elias, co-author with Olga Lacayo of The Art of Troublemaking | El arte de crear problema.

How do you reinvent yourself as a professional? How do you purposefully stay open to new ideas and points of view? I believe that professional learning is a journey that should remain open to surprises and ‘detours.’ When embarking in this lifelong journey, be prepared to challenged, inspired and transformed. Reading professional books and articles, joining Professional Learning Communities, joining classes, podcasts or webinars, and reflecting on our own learning makes us better professionals in ways that might be hard to quantify. In our article “Aoteraoa New Zealand Inspires Us to Reinvent Ourselves,” Margie Carter, Ijumaa Jordan and I explore the impact of study tours as a vehicle for professional development. Traveling to a different context has allowed us to explore new ideas and to reflect together on our own contexts at home. In the words of our New Zealand colleague Chris Bayes, study tours offer a chance to “explore someone else’s ordinary as our extraordinary,” bringing us a fresh look into our own organizations, schools, cities and communities.

Whether we leave home or not, whenever we seek out new ideas or influences, as we suggest in the article, “consider and contextualize, don’t consume.” In other words, rather than replicate what others are doing, we invite you to see others’ work and contexts as inspiration to reflect on your own, seeing new opportunities in the unique qualities and resources of your own programs and communities.

Elias will be leading another Aoteraoa New Zealand Inspire Study Tour this April.

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