|The Hero's Journey|
Our school was founded 12 years ago with another unique vision, that of a group of heroes embarking on a journey of discovery—a metaphorical quest to transform learning. As a guide, we used the book The Hero's Journey by J. Brown and C. Moffett to illuminate our path. The hero's journey follows a cyclical, spiral path of growth involving search, companionship, chaos, complexity, discovery, persistence, initiations, and finally insight and transformation before the journey begins anew. Two principles of a heroic school (excerpted from the book) that mesh well with our vision of collaboration are as follows:
- "True learning comes from a fusion of head, heart, and body."
- "Learning occurs in heroic environments in which motivation is largely intrinsic rather than extrinsic."
With those details in mind, I framed our nascent collaboration efforts to my colleagues as:
COLLABORATION = Teachers as Scholars who are Courageously Committed to a Hero's Journey
In a profession that has been coming under increasing external attack from all sides, I think it is important for teachers to give themselves permission to be heroes and to engage as scholars. I think it is imperative that teachers find and leverage their own intrinsic heroism to elevate the teaching profession. I think it is critical that teachers honor, value, practice, and model lifelong learning in an effort to transform education.
As we had various discussions last year about teacher collaboration time, I captured and saved notes that spoke to our vision. I did not want this vision to get lost and forgotten among the myriad details. Distilling these notes led to the following beautiful and inspiring word cloud about our collaborative vision:
Buried among all the noisy details, our original vision of collaboration re-emerged: Collaboration is a time and opportunity for teachers to engage in scholarly conversations around curriculum, planning, interventions, and equity.
I look forward to beginning a fresh hero's journey during our collaboration time this year.