Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Consultants' and CE Day of Learning: Noticing

Connection: Something you noticed this summer you hadn't had time to notice before?

Text Study: 
Too often success in learners goes unnoticed and uncelebrated.
 "Most of us need to develop a sensitivity to the spiritual. We need to become open to the many ways in which the Divine affects us. This is why I call this the discipline of noticing. It takes effort on our part to master this skill. A spiritual discipline is an activity that we practice so that it will become habitual for us and a normal part of who we are. (Spiritual Autobiography, p. 89)

"Brachot are essentially statements of thanksgiving for all that God has provided us, the opportunity to experience the manifestation of Divine in nature...Rabbi Meir declared that it is the duty of every Jew
to recite 100 benedictions daily." (MEn 43b)

Why Notice in Jewish Learning?
As educators, we need to see if what we do matters.
We begin to identify the keystones..we don't know actually what are the "outcomes" that matter, so we have to begin to notice
Allows us to work with partners, we can communicate with each other, we have shared language
We translate our long term goals and visions into something to notice now
The learner needs to know which way am I headed, did I get anywhere?
Need some guides to make decisions ..what and how we learn and teach

Priority Goals:
In New York we saw congregations had created visions. They are big narratives for the future and then they were challenged to translate that to something to guide decisions. All the ones we use as examples use journey language.

Vision is big. Focus? We are not going to accomplish everything...not the potpourri approach. Proves a framework or lens for decision making, learning prep, learner focus. Makes the educational vision accessible to educators and families. Makes the big or intangible smaller and achievable.

Unpack journey: contrasts with fixedness..not like being a Jew is a fixed thing. So what's that mean for our learning? What's the meta you get about "how to construct my journey" when you are living a Jewish journey?

Sample Priority Goals to direct learning plans
Came from congregation's visions (they sometimes pick more than one, and adapt them over time)
This is a language for our community, we can talk to each other to understand what it is important, or what we mean by this
1. We will be on a journey of applying Torah to daily life
2. We will be on a journey of mending the world
3. We will be on a spiritual journey rooted in Jewish tradition
4. We will be on a journey of relationship with Am Yisrael, eretz, Medinat Yisrael

Turn these priorities into drawings..icons that reflect the priority.

What artists; that little drawing now holds our "midrash" on a goal. We could use this regularly to remind us to align our work to our priorities.

We just did the "hokie pokie" to introduce "whole person learning."
Yeah put your whole self in...this is about visceral experience not cold and isolated.

Trying to have a language that turns "meaning making," into something concrete. When we attend and nurture  knowing K, doing L, believing/valuing B and belonging B we imbed deeper, we enable meaning. Our "learners' are actually real people with different needs. We are in the "people business," not teaching fractions. And we all start or need mostly need one before the other. I'm a knowing person and your are a doing person...so let's make room for all.

What's the Connection between Priority Goals and Whole Person Learning?
It is the definition of a journey...it takes all the KDBB to be on a journey...if I'm gonna go, if I'm going to make this part of my life, if I'm going to make decisions and construct my journey I've gotta be equipped with the content, the ways to live it, and a place to explore and express belonging and have folks to support me..I'd never go on the trip.

What's The Connection between all that and models..?
You can't achieve these outcomes just in a classroom...oh i get it we need different folks and different places if we are going to reach KDBB? Let's get it all in alignment.

Now its 1 in the afternoon. We've had sushi for lunch York peppermints for dessert. Around the table that Cindy REich is leading our learning: Shaina Wasserman, Abby Pitkowsky, Miriam Brosseau, Jennifer Goldsmith, Mike Mellen, Suri Jacknis, Shana Zionts, Hilary Shumer and Jaimie Betesh. Some of our vatikim are in the room and some folks are new to the work. We are hearing each other's experiences and challenging each other.

Noticing targets are "smallish" observable and measurable steps or outcomes in the areas of KDBB.
Some people ask: Are they the same as a learner outcome?
Similar but not the same:
1. Noticing comes from the spiritual discipline of noticing
2. it reflects the notion of journey..you notice someone's growth not a fixed outcome

KDBB is for whole unit
so each learning experience builds towards these targets, they are described from the perspective of the learner..the learner will

Select or Create Noticing Targets
It's hard to name a target clearly and coherently. We appreciate the time to have the conversation with another educator..or with the learners..where are we trying to get there.

Lots of questions coming up.
So what's best is that together we are struggling with how to do it..no one is struggling with they why...we are learning about each other..building our shared framework...tomorrow we are spending more time going deeper