The BARN Facilitation team (Liz Campbell, Krystal Damm, Bradley Clarke, Melissa Juniper and myself) met via Skype yesterday to plan our first whole group meeting on Monday (Jan 12).  After four snow days this week we are hoping the winds die down and we are good to go Monday.  Choosing dates that work for all is very difficult!

 
We are very excited about the make up of our group for 2015.  Joining us we have teachers from kindergarten to high school, ECEs, an administrator and a system lead teacher.  We also have learning resource, student success and lead teachers. In all, we have 34 educators including 5 facilitators. 
 
The purposes of the day are:

- building relationships (this takes a lot of time and trust)

- develop collective understanding of the process of action research

- get an idea of what we might want to do individually and in small groups

- present ourselves with humility, not as experts but as co-learners sharing the journey

- demonstrate that this is a slow, responsive process, introduce skills as people are ready and want them
 
The Agenda:
 

Improving Our Practice

Bluewater District School Board

Monday January 12, 2015

9:00 am to 3:00 pm 

Draft Agenda

1.0 Welcome and Introductions:

Brief History, BARN 2013-14, Former member introductions, New member introduction

2.0  Draft Purpose of the day

3.0 What is my Concern? What do I want to improve?  Think Pair Share Reflect

BREAK  10:30ish Snack

4.0 Comfort/Concerns/Questions

Think Pair Share Reflect

Values

5.0 Purpose of the Day - revisions

6.0 Action Research Process - hand out

7.0 Tech intro:OneDrive - OneNote, video options, Mentoring Moments registration

8.0 Lunch and Technology explore 12-1

9.0 Jackie Delong: Skype with Jackie: Power of practitioner embodied knowledge, Passion in Practice, collecting data

11.0 Ethical Issues/Permissions/Board Restrictions 

13.0 Next Steps:

Write down your thinking between now and the next meeting:  journal, video journal, painting, art, living wall, stories

Revisit A/R Planner

Record at least one conversation, email exchange, Mentoring moments

Jackie, Liz and Cathy available Sundays for Skype Chats   

14.0  Dates for Next Meetings - 
Friday Feb. 20th (snow date Mon Feb 23),  April (end),  Friday May 15th (symposium)

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Yay!  It looks like the weather is cooperating (knock on wood), and I am sooo excited for another year of BARN.  When I look back in my journal to the first meeting of last year, I wrote then about how excited I was to be in a room of fellow educators who all had similar concerns about their practice and students and were looking for ways to improve.  I am feeling the same way tonight, on the eve of our first meeting, and can't wait to get started with this year's group.  So glad to have returning members of our collaborative community and excited to meet the new ones.  Very grateful for the opportunity for self directed PD.

Like Cathy and Melissa, I too was very excited about starting BARN again. I could feel the physical difference in my body as I anticipated both the challenges and rewards that I suspected would unfold. It is difficult to explain exactly what that feels like but the overall sensation is one of hope as I know this is valuable work and the results provide me with the necessary inspiration to continue the work and fuel my own growth.

Day 1 was wonderful! Like Cathy said, we have a very diverse group which could present additional challenges in traditional professional development but actually enhances our process with different perspectives along with unique experiences and world views. The feedback we received confirms that we met our initial goals as outlined by Cathy and validated some of our observations for planning our next day together.

What I found particularly interesting this time around was how much easier it was to let the day unfold and the agenda emerge to meet the needs of participants-to be truly mindful. I believe this is because we had Melissa, Krystal and Brad on board as co-facilitators. On the way home Krystal asked me if it was more complex having more facilitators. A valid question for sure and one that in past experiences I would have confirmed. However, it is different in BARN and I believe that is because there are no egos to appease. We are all there for the same reason and we share similar values. We want to improve our practice and we want to share the process with anyone else who wants to improve their practice. We know that the experience is much richer when we collaborate and we know that we need the other to flourish. Ubuntu (I am because we are) thrives in BARN.

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