Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tim O'Leary's Opening Volley

My role on this team is as Lead-Teacher, which means that I collaborate closely with Bill and develop the scope and sequence of the course, keeping an eye on the finest of details and staying focused on where we are sailing and when to readjust our course and/or our technique in getting there. It is also so rewarding to work with such wonderfully intelligent and passionate mentors who give critical feedback on what we are doing and plans for gatherings as a way to tune that trajectory. Mostly, I love the young people with all of their the struggles, energy, and intensity to see parts of their worlds for the first time and see themselves as meaningful parts of those worlds

Like Emily, I am stepping out of the classroom this year, which has been soul shaking. I have loved teaching more and more every year for 15 years, so it still confuses me, sometimes to a gut-wrenching degree, why I chose to do this. The situation presented itself, and I'm always one to try something, if nothing else... that's the most concise way I can explain why this transition is upon me. I step into a new role with our school district (Addison Central Supervisory Union, soon to be Addison Central School District) as the only Technology Innovation Specialist as I work to strengthen the capacity of educators across 9 schools to employ technology in meaningful ways and deepen their students' learning (no small task). It's all new to me and the district. It's a monumental work-in-progress.

Best summer moment: spending time with friends and family. Feet up on the beach in Cape Cod or Fenway or on our back patio: all good times to energize. For those of you who know Michael Armstrong, attending a celebration of his life at Bread Loaf was one of the more moving moments of the summer.

What excites me the most about the coming year: I really think that WTS transitioned a whole lot from year one to year two, which has set the platform for not just refined and nuanced movements in our work together and with students this year but will allow us to also compose and package ways to tell Our story for others to borrow and imitate and make their own. Already, Paul Barnwell is replicating a WTS experience in Louisville, KY during this coming academic year. I look forward to creating open-source material not just for Paul but for anyone willing to invest so deeply in the ideas of young people and give them the unyielding syntax and resources to let those ideas take shape and take off.

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