Lead by Learning Alumni Network
Last month, Lead by Learning hosted our second Alumni Connect meet-up event and reconnected past Lead by Learning participants with their roots in inquiry!
Designed to be 1-hour professional learning experiences, alums have an opportunity to engage in many of Lead by Learning core practices:
- Using Data to Uncover the Learner’s Experience
- Public Learning
- Supportive Challenge
Together alums helped each other inquire into questions that tend to bubble up for teachers who are working towards equity yet have little time or space to pursue their questions in depth.
Vidya Jayakumar, who teaches secondary math in Oakland, shared video footage of one of her emergent bilingual students teaching the rest of the class. In doing this inquiry, Vidya has realized the power of peer-to-peer instruction which has stimulated more questions about how to integrate this practice even more into her classroom routines. As we know, pursuing inquiries often leads to more questions, “aha’s,” and wondering about other ways to make her students feel involved and agentic in their learning. Previously, Vidya was part of our district-wide inquiry group with OUSD ELLMA’s office focused on integrated ELD. Learning more about Vidya’s inquiry last year in her blog “Language is a Bridge not a Barrier in Math.”
Ginny Geoghegan, a TOSA at Tomales High School, shared a variety of data including survey results and focal student interviews that she conducted in the interim between Connects 1 and 2 as she sought to understand how students felt in their advisories, seeking to boost student belonging, engagement, and inclusion. She wondered, “What was I trying to do with this data?” as she grappled with what her next round of data collection might include. Ginny was a former partner while teaching at Albany High School and in 2015 wrote a blog with Lead by Learning “But What If I Hurt Their Feelings?: Supporting Students to Give Authentic Peer Feedback.”
After attending a Connect, one alum reported feeling “fired up” about his question, and “slightly clearer about the aspects [he] came in wondering about.” Another described the meetings as a “breath of fresh air,” spurring her to think about how to incorporate inquiry into her existing PLC rather than starting a new group from scratch.
Alumni Connects will continue to meet every other month for the rest of the year, hoping to bring in more and more Lead by Learning alums seeking space to talk through what’s happening for their learners, why it’s important, and how they know.
Bring data, questions, or your listening ear to get fresh perspectives, Supportive Challenge, and most importantly, time to think and learn.
As part of our Alumni network development work, we’ll also be hosting our first ever Lead by Learning Alumni Happy Hour from 4-6pm on January 17th at the Aloha Club in Oakland to hear about Lead by Learning’s current work and share bites, beverages, and of course, percolating inquiry questions!
We hope you’ll join us in continuing this work! Stay in the loop by signing up for our Alumni Network.