Resources: Speak and Listen

This month, The Umi Project pauses to reflect…

  • Try it: That time of year is here! Have you tried NPR’s The Great Thanksgiving Listen with your students?
  • Listen:  The Obama’s recently held the Obama Summit during the unveiling of President Obama’s Presidential Library plans in Chicago. You can listen and watch the closing session here…inspiration and action from President Obama and many youth!
  • Read it: Having difficult conversations in a timely manner in the workplace can sometimes feel close to impossible. Start transforming the culture of work with this read, “Clear if Kind, Unclear if Unkind” by Brene Brown, as she untangles the challenges of having a “rumble” and highlights the importance of being direct.

I am reflecting on a busy October that was filled with travel to teachers in Hawaii, Washington State, and Alaska, and a lot of learning as well! I’m reminded that wherever we are, understanding community and place is the key to authentic learning.

Last month, during a stopover in Denver, I caught Greta Thunberg’s appearance at a Denver youth, Friday’s for Future, climate strike. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the amphitheater was filled with encouraging signs and people of all ages. The individuals that were hosting the strike spoke of indigenous voices and the stories that belong to the land. Greta started her short speech with an acknowledgement of the Ute, Cheyennes and Arapahoes people who Denver is associated with. I’ve been reminded ever since that when we talk about education and sustainability, we can’t separate science from history, or stories from data, or even school from…reality.

As I travel from school to school, state to state, and partner with groups employing a variety of different approaches to deeper learning, I’m struck with the urgency and importance of doing this work now- building strong adult and student communities, transforming learning experiences, and teaching collaboration and communication skills as the underlying skills that society needs from us.

Thanks for joining me in this work!