The mission of our STEM team is to build an inclusive STEM community that empowers all learners to better their world. The last four days have been remarkable, at least from my perspective, in that I've been part of the work to advance our mission at different scales and across different groups. For that, I feel truly thankful and fortunate. Since many of my former colleagues asked what it is that I do now, I'll share the highlights.
Monday - STEM Team Meeting: We're finding our way together, as a team, in the STEM world. We're currently exploring the role that language, particularly student discourse, plays in STEM education. We know that language plays a critical role in ensuring equitable access to STEM education across Orange County. So, not only are we working to become a STEM community as a team, we're looking deeply and purposefully at how language empowers STEM learners. It's exciting and I'm thrilled to see the direction the team is going.
Tuesday - PD for FSD: I had been anxiously anticipating my return to my former district. I wasn't sure what the reception would be like. In short, it was an amazing day. Being back in a room with two dozen amazing educators with whom I've been privileged enough to work with for the past three years was wonderful. Though I have changed jobs, I still care deeply for the teachers of Fullerton and am thrilled to be able to continue to build that community of educators who work hard to empower their students.
Wednesday - Evening with a Coworker & Friend: Though not strictly work related, I did have the opportunity to have a coworker come with me to the Ducks' game on Wednesday evening. It has been great fun to get to know the people at OCDE, including those outside of my immediate STEM team. It was a wonderful bonus that the Ducks pulled out a shutout win. Let's go Ducks! It was a good reminder that building community depends on building strong relationships with people.
Thursday - LSP Network Meeting: Our STEM team has worked deliberately and diligently to restructure the Lead STEM Practitioners Network this year. We have ten amazing triads of STEM teacher leaders from across Orange County. Some are currently in formal leadership roles and others are emerging teacher leaders. Our two meetings thus far have been energizing and have given me immense hope for the future of STEM education in Orange County. Each team is working to identify and address a specific area of concern unique to their district. Collectively we're exploring larger STEM trends and issues. Together we can make a difference in STEM for our students.
Four amazing days for different reasons. I can just say that I feel so privileged to get to do what I do in this job. No two days are exactly alike. They're not always easy or thrilling, but they are rewarding in their own way.