Each spring and early summer, educators apply to join the following year’s Learning Lab cohort. Most applicants are teachers, though administrators and coaches join in, too. Participants apply singly or in teams.
Next, the full Learning Lab cohort meets for a morning on October 1st (9:00 to 12:00) to get to know each other and learn about all of our particular settings and learners. We begin drafting inquiry questions, and thinking through how to engage our students in the inquiry process. By the end of the day, we’ll invite you to let us know what’s working and how we can help you take your next steps.
At this point, we lean on our weekly digital communique, The Weekly Huddle, which helps keep our community connected, inspired, and informed in between our in-person meetings. Susan and Bill provide a monthly menu of optional and short synchronous sessions that anticipate what’s needed. They also provide individual coaching to help everyone get their sea legs under them.
In addition, we hold three 9-noon Saturday virtual sessions throughout the year to reconnect with each other and what matters most. We also begin planning site-based visits, inviting you to visit the two sites/educators whose line of inquiry most interests you. We also establish Student Sounding Boards, students whom you choose to help you generate and make sense of your data. We also begin connecting these groups of students, who sometimes join in on the site visits.
As the level of trust in the circle grows, the cohort begins opening up about what’s working and where they could use some help. Relationships begin to deepen. A sense of collective efficacy emerges, as together we help each other make sense of and act wisely in our particular education ecosystems. And that's where the real fun begins.
- Extended periods of independent & site-based work, supported with embedded coaching;
- Engaging in the Weekly Huddle;
- Site-based visits (visiting two Learning Labs);
- A mid-year and final Learning Lab Report to tell the story of your learning;
- Two overnight gatherings (November 18/19 and March 10/11) of our cohort, to debrief and rejuvenate;
- Four 9:00 - 12:00 Saturday Sessions (October 1, January 21, February 11, April 8)
- Generosity with our findings, with our Learning Lab mates, our colleagues, and the wider educational community.