Director of Professional Learning | World Leadership School - Current
4th Grade Teacher & Lower School Capstone Coordinator| Collegiate School (Richmond, VA) - Former
Why did you attend?
I registered for the Purpose Summit at the very last minute. I wasn’t even really sure what I was in search of when I requested approval from my administrators, but I was feeling like I needed MORE than what my little classroom could fulfill for me last fall. The description of the event and the driving question “How can K-12 schools help students explore, discover and articulate a sense of purpose at an earlier age?” intrigued me.
Each separate part of the summit held incredible meaning and value for me. As a veteran teacher, I had spent the better part of the last 20 years refining my craft for the betterment of my students’ learning, but hadn’t taken the time to clarify my own purpose for that same outcome. Participating in the Purpose Clarification portion of the Summit was the single most valuable thing I did for myself in 20 years of teaching. Having the time and brainspace to explore the “why” behind my “how” was transformational and I still keep a sticky note with my Purpose Statement on my desk today!
Beyond the purpose clarification, the Purpose Summitt gave me the unique opportunity to build a community of educators who, like myself, were seeking to improve their practice in a simultaneously self-reflective and outwardly focused way. The depth of emotion and caring for students, teachers, and our educational system that was demonstrated let me know that I am not alone in my journey to improve upon the status quo.
Finally, the framework of an “easy hack” and “moonshot” presented through the lens of project based pedagogy and design thinking, was the perfectly approachable way to take action on my newly minted Purpose Statement. Because I was crystal clear on the work I was meant to do, I felt empowered to bring ideas home with me that were fully developed and ready to implement.
While I started my Purpose Summit journey unaware of the impact it would have upon my teaching, I continue the journey with a clear sense of who I am as an educator and how I can best serve my students and my community. That is the power of this Summit.
My easy hack was to inform 4th Grade capstone students about the UN Sustainability Goals through a “Sustainability Summit” giving them the time and space to choose which of the goals they are most interested in and provide them the resources to pursue their interest.