"I'm so lucky to be working with these folks!" - My thought after our presentation at the California STEAM Symposium
Late in October, I was fortunate enough to collaborate with Rushton Hurley and Kas Periera on a session called Self-Directed, Dynamic, and Distinctive Learning for the California STEAM Symposium.
The presentation itself was great. Kas gave an impassioned pitch for the importance of student-centered education and talked about the importance of tinkering in learning. I explained two key shifts in thinking that educators make when they tackle student-centered learning. Rushton shared several powerful examples of student projects that were based on unique student context and interest.
But what really struck me was how generous Rushton and Kas had been. I was the one who initially proposed doing a presentation together, thinking it’d be a good way to participate in the community and to get the word out about Unrulr. But the fact is there’s no way I would have been selected to present without Rushton and Kas, who are well-known in the education community. They were doing this to support me and to support Unrulr. And one of them had spinal surgery just days before!
One of our teacher partners recently introduced me to the concept of “givers.” A giver gives of themself to support others and expects nothing in return [for more info on givers, check out the well-received book, Give and Take by Adam Grant]. It’s clear to me most educators have a giver’s heart.
We’ve seen this over and over again in our relationships with our partners-- from our teachers who spend hours with us on Zoom giving us input and feedback, to community members who feature us on their podcasts and in their presentations, to Kas and Rushton who gave their time, energy, and credibility to provide us a platform to tell our story. They are all givers.
I think the intention behind an educator’s giving is to enrich the lives of their students and communities. At Unrulr, we take that cue and make it our goal to do the same. Here’s what we do to try to be givers:
These are the ways we honor the generosity we’ve been shown.
Ultimately, I feel extremely grateful to the educators we work with. Their generosity and their interest in doing good is inspiring. Supporting educators makes Unrulr by far the most rewarding work experience I’ve ever had.
Rushton Hurley founded Next Vista for Learning which provides a curated set of thousands of videos to support students in their learning and development. Kas Periera is the Director of the makerspace and makerspace programs at the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College. Sign up for her amazing (maker)SPACE Program today.