There’s 2 sides to the coin (at least that’s what I heard in my math probability class). Where there’s in, there’s out. Simple concept; do you follow? Well, ever since the IA started, I’ve been in it, but the truth is, I often feel lonely, different--excluded, almost. OUT. But this is only one side, I’m also IN it; others aren’t. And even if I’ve often conceived it as a matter of b&w, bulk vs minority , and the classically phrased “black sheep” dilemma, I had never stopped to think that others can feel excluded from the IA as well.
On Thursday I had an epiphany.
So, we were a total of eight; six were in the IA, 2 weren’t--it was quite a bounce of ideas. For once, it was fulfilling to see that taking an unexpected turn with something as complicated and “predictable” as education can inspire others rather than molest them.
To sum it all up, these 2 teachers (who seemed more like bffs) had seen what we did and the amount of motivation the program had ignited in each one of us, that they dearly wanted that same vibe and excitement in their classrooms.
The teachers mentioned that they were open to collaboration with our class, specifically through feedback sessions. They wanted their students to craft their work and to care for every project, not to just see it as another batch of work. We offered to be there, but I’ve got to admit, this was the first time we did.
The chat then led to further advice and other opportunities, such as allowing them to practice their writing in The Break in order for middle school students to have their voice published. I was struck once I understood my purpose for being in the talk: it wasn’t to convince them that I was having an authentic learning experience--something you definitely have to be prepared for when you are a pilot program--but to share openly, because they were willing to hear.
Many of us fail to see the big picture. At times, we tend to victimize our positions without realizing it. The truth is, as IA’ers, we also exclude. After all, we are a small group, whether we like it or not; it’s not that we can grow the team from one day to another. And, because we spend so much time together, it can become, or seem to become, a clique.
In a school of over a thousand people, having a core group is incredible; they become your main source of support. Still, a group of a thousand is there 2 be explored.This is why, I believe, we should start seeking collaboration, without getting caught up in an IA bubble. On one hand, we are already a step ahead through BlendZ, asking for volunteers who are not necessarily in our class. We’re not quite done, though. These 2 teachers made me realize the importance of teaching and sharing what we know, because while keeping it 2 ourselves might bring us solace with what we gain, it’s not as powerful as if our whole community were 2 embrace it 2.