I've been lurking around the edges of design thinking for about a year, listening, wondering, and envisioning how it could weave its way into the fabric of the learning networks that I lead, but it took a leap of faith in regards to time and space to really begin my journey into this space. The folks at Mount Vernon Schools did an excellent job of creating an event that maximized energy, relationships, and learning. It was by far the best professional development for my soul this year, and it will be great to return to my new position with some additional tools for using design thinking in my new role. Though the district may not be ready to leap with me, I'll be ready when they are. My two biggest takeaways are that design thinking shifts the focus from the solutions that are wanted by the designers to the solutions that are needed by those you serve. Education is filled with solutions crafted with no empathy for students. What do they want? What do they need? What needs do that truly have? The second is that design thinking validates the idea that we must trust the process. Process matters as it allows the learning to unfold in mysterious ways, organically and with serendipity. I hope to fold this concept into #edcampSTL in the spring, and maybe some of my new allies will make the trip to lead this process for us. Finally, I had a lot of fun, got to be silly, laugh, play with friends, and truly release some of the anxiety of the year. I'm a bit of a tsunami in those spaces, but it was so good for the soul.
Here is the unconscious stream of ideas that came from the reflection at the end of day two of #fuse 13.