In August 2015, the Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation hosted its second annual Convening honoring the teacher teams that received LIGHT Awards earlier in the year. The meeting brought together an impressive group of 31 educators along with members of Intrepid Philanthropy’s board. Teachers had opportunities to discuss their projects as well as to socialize, network, and participate in professional development activities as a group. The energy and passion in the room was palpable throughout the event.
Patricia Ryan Madson, a Stanford Emeritus professor and author of Improv Wisdom, started us off with an inspiring morning session of Improv, playfully guiding the group towards being present, open-minded and intuitive. She shared ideas and activities that could be incorporated in classroom settings, as part of teacher-led professional development meetings, or in attendees’ personal lives.
Later in the day, April Stout and Jennifer Bloom of the New Teacher Center led an engaging session on Peer Coaching. They used a mock classroom exercise to demonstrate best practices for productive inquiry-based peer observations and feedback. They also emphasized that, “Professional norms are a mindset.” This idea was echoed by two 2014-2016 LIGHT Awards grantees from Costaño School, who participated in this year’s Convening by sharing their “Lessons Learned” over the first year of their project. Establishing protocol and norms like active participation and listening, assuming positive intent, respecting time and technology, and keeping eyes on the goal of growth helped them improve the professional culture at their school through their LIGHT-Awards funded project. We were lucky to have the voices of experience and wisdom remind us of these and other important lessons at the Convening.
Meeting other teachers whom are in different places in their profession was humbling and appreciated! It was the perfect way to start our new year…
2015 LIGHT Award Recipient and Manteca Unified School District Teacher
Each summer, recipients of that year’s LIGHT Awards will be invited to a Convening like this one. Below, you can see some of our favorite moments from this exciting event.
Learn more about current LIGHT Award grantees and their projects here.