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Monday, November 9 • 16:45 - 17:00
I Cry At Work: A model for authentic and intensive change-support and why the education revolution can’t succeed without it

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Books, blogs, TEDTalks, workshops plant inspiring ideas that allow us to fall in love with revolutionizing the school system. It helps us dream of schools for our children that nurtures their most natural inclination towards meaningful and authentic learning. It empowers our children. It values them.

But at the most basic level, lasting change within any system means changing people. It means changing the heads, hearts and habits of individuals. 

We need more people on the ground in schools. More people listening and co-creating with teachers. More people building relationships and taking on those tough conversations that push mindset and practice.

This discussion explores a model for supporting school change that celebrates the intensive, personal and challenging nature of change along with using project-based learning as a catalyst for pedagogical, cultural and organizational shifts within the schools we work with. Our model gives schools on-site consultant support two days per week for several years. We become part of the working fabric of the school. We are in classrooms, active in teaching team meetings, eating in the staff room, working with school leaders, co-teaching and being a visible presence of change and for change.

And we are not afraid of crying.

I cry when sharing projects that I’ve done with students as a teacher at High Tech High. One in particular where we designed a park in memory of a young girl who was killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012.

I cry when teachers reflect on small moments in their classrooms where they are overwhelmingly proud of their students for doing something, they didn’t think was possible.

I cry with people when they feel stressed. When they need to talk about how challenging teaching is and how undergoing a change process can be even harder. When their own lives are affected by this work. I understand, it is hard.

I cry when students exhibit projects that are beautiful, authentic and empowering.

I cry at home (with a glass of wine) when change feels to be moving eternally slow or when people are aggressively resistant. I try to remind myself it’s not personal against me, though some days it can feel deeply so.

The revolution of our school system will start with a clear and inspiring vision. The success of the revolution will depend on our ability to support individuals through the process. And not being afraid to cry.

avatar for Loni Bergqvist

Loni Bergqvist

Founder of Imagine If, Imagine If
Loni was (and always will be) a teacher.​Loni started her career in education teaching at a traditional school in San Diego, California. She became a project-based learning 'convert' when she started attending night school in Leadership at the High Tech High Graduate School of Education... Read More →

Monday November 9, 2020 16:45 - 17:00 CET