Story title: Real Relationships, Real World Connections
Submitted by: Michelle Sadrena Clark
High Tech High North County
DL story: A deeper learning moment in my life occurred during a two week professional development seminar I participated in this past summer. It took place in New York and was sponsored by the Holocaust Memorial Library. Twenty-six teachers from all over the country were selected to engage in an intensive exploration of Holocaust and Social Justice Education through expert speakers, film analysis, workshops, site visits, discussions, collegial presentations, and writing. We were continually invited to write our reflections after each experience, which truly allowed for deep introspection. The authenticity of the program is what made it meaningful learning. For instance we spent hours with Holocaust survivors listening to their stories, we were able to speak with the only American to remain in Rwanda during the genocide, and learned about Judaism from a local Rabbi before attending a Shabbat service, followed by a traditional Shabbat meal. It was experiential learning at it’s core! I think what also helped was that every person there was committed and invested in what we were trying to accomplish, understanding of ourselves and others. So in a nutshell, deeper learning has to be real. Real relationships and real world connections are what made this seminar unforgettable.
Mastering core academic content; Thinking critically; Collaborating; Doing relevant; engaging work; Presenting work to a real audience