and I get confused

 
 

and I get confused

 

when I wish to give you

everything

 

when I wish to let you

be

everything

 

as you wish to

be

everything

 

as you wish to

be

everything

 
 

be

everything

 
 

so that I may

be

nothing

 
 

with love

 
 

so that you may

be

nothing

 
 

with love

 
 

and sometimes

 

get confused

 
 

with

 
 
 

love

ALF Summer 2014 Reflection

It’s hard to know where to begin, as the journey to this point has been a culmination of so much of who I am and what I am. Alas, this is intended to be a reflection on the first two weeks of ALF Summer 2014, and so I’ll try and keep my focus there. But first, allow me to back up just a bit.

Over the course of my life, I have been able to gain an understanding of my self and have learned to recognize my strengths and shortcomings. When I weigh it all out, I often conclude that my greatest strength – that is to say, what has taken me the furthest in life – is my intention and discernment in choosing the people I want to play with.

A big part of knowing who you want to play with is knowing what game you want to play. Since I can remember, and for reasons that are unknown, I have always had a strong internal value for honesty, openness, and love. My Truth is rooted in all things authentic, and that is what I’ve been chasing my whole life. It has brought me immense joy to help open up a space for all of us to experience ourselves deeply and to swim in these waters together – all in service of bringing forth that same powerful opportunity for children.

I wasn’t sure how far we would be able to get with each other in this three week experience. I was a little nervous that it would somehow feel incomplete when we were done. I think it may wind up feeling incomplete next week, but for much different reasons than I was originally concerned about.

I’m impressed with how much “material” we have covered in just two weeks – enough to satisfy my original estimations of what could be done. That all feels like a bonus, because much more important than the material are the relationships and the relatedness that have been created. I feel so energized waking up and coming to this space where authenticity is the goal, and where everyone is playing that infinite game together.

Though there is still a lot to cover and accomplish in the final week, if the intensive ended today I would see it as a monumental success. I have been so inspired by seeing how every single one of us has found a way to engage powerfully in this project and add tremendous value. I’m having a hard time finding words to express how grateful, impressed, and overwhelmed I am by how it has all taken shape – perhaps I should have chosen do a movement piece with Luc, Felicia, and Abe.

What’s possible?

My god, I feel like we are right in the thick of that question, and yet still somehow have only scratched the very surface of it.

 

 

 

End of Week Two Reflection

General Notes:

  • ALF intensive is amazing. We are all learning a lot together. Here are some pictures of us ALFing as well as the first four days of summer camp. From the ALC Mosaic community, we have both staff and parents diving deep in what it means to go Agile together. Together, we are generating a lot of shareable value we’ll be seeing soon via our new website.
  • We’ve had our graphic designer at ALF camp – what a commitment to this project he has made! Not only has Eric rebranded our look for Agile Learning Centers, but he’s actively involving himself in what we are because he finds this work so interesting. He also taught us as an offering at camp the process of logo design that he used for ALC.
  • Our new website is in the works, thanks to Drew. It’s incredible and can be used like our own Facebook for communication and children’s blogs…where they can share their own posts and even tag each other in them. Tomis will provide a workshop where he will train everyone in both ALC Mosaic & ALC NY wanting support in how to create an account and use it. It will be one central location for all our communication.
  • We are having really awesome Mosaic Staff Meetings as a part of a working group of ALF intensive. Two new ALFers are interested in finding a way for them to intern with us. We’ll see if life circumstance allows that to happen 🙂
  • I have gotten to watch a lot of happy kids work with passionate and engaged adults. This brings me a lot of joy.

Favorite Moments/Activities:

  • The Archetypes whole group activity with Bear was really insightful and I think also helped us meld well together as a group. The time was really useful to me because it helped me understand the others in the group more, as well as myself. I also thought it helped bring awareness to all of us that we are all triggered, or alerted to different types of stimuli, and that information alone helps us not take the actions of others so personally as we humans can tend to do.
  • The discussion about the book Finite and Infinite Games by James Carse was also very insightful. I feel like I spent most of my twenties transitioning into a mindset of being an infinite player in the game of life. Quitting my job to start this school was a huge stepping stone in this process. I realized at that time that life wasn’t worth living if I couldn’t do so with full engagement towards a greater purpose. Road blocks continually came up; inspections that had to pass, losing students and financial resources, etc. and I have to constantly revisit each roadblock as just one part of the infinite game I am playing through my existence. How I approach roadblocks are my choice. How I feel every moment of my life is my choice, and I find that very empowering. I’ve ordered the book!

Challenges: 

  • I find that I cherish the whole group time as well as struggle with it. I tell myself that working in groups is challenging, and perhaps that is why I perceive it as so. Perhaps if I remind myself that group cohesion and dynamics take time then I can have more grace for individuals in a group when agenda items that I feel are important to get to are not addressed. I feel like 3 weeks is too short to get to know each other, feel comfortable with one another, and also run a summer camp, and work on ALC Network and individual school projects.

What Have I Gained? 

  • I have gained more cohesion in our staff and parent community. The school is now grounded in roots that are stable. We have people in our community involved in creating that foundation and that is what will keep us sustainable as a school. The strong connection I feel between current staff, current parents, and potential ALFs is amazing to experience. There are people now joining our community because they believe in Agile Learning Centers. That is a much stronger foundation in my opinion.  I am human and can show up really strong some days and not so strong on others. Having buy-in for our school being tied into something greater than myself feels really, really great.
  • Being fully immersed in a group like this has forced me to see parts of myself more clearly, which in turn will give me more ability learn how to interact powerfully with others.  I am tuning into my authentic self in a deeper way than I ever have before and it’s beautiful, fun and exciting to experience!

 

Facilitation Process

Click Clack Aahh Rarrr

Impulses manifest

moments last longer.

Crunch

Yell

Me

Me

Me

Here and there productive creativity bounces from the wall

Into beaming eyes

yelling

Listen to me or I have a great idea.

A moment please let her finish. Let him speak.

You document, I document.

Integrate your passion

weave it into every fiber of your being.

The core is the message of pride

Beaming

Bursting through lanky little bodies

Growing,

Hugging,

Loving,

Heaving,

Jumping

Saying hi, hi, hello Felicia .

 

 

 

To infinity… and beyond

During the ALF intensive, we have really been living the ideas we have been discussing. We have created and adjusted a culture together to make it work best for us. During this time I have seen first-hand the power of allowing individuals to work freely within their preferred medium and according to their interests. In this eclectic group of people we have been able to create so much and have developed strong working relationships with each other. Where the first week involved a lot of talking through ideas and concepts, the second week provided us with the opportunity to see the practical application of those concepts. I am excited by the possibilities that have been opened during this training, and I’m ready to play infinitely as we move ahead!

Abe’s Reflection on ALF Summer Week 2

After two weeks of the Agile Learning Facilitator (ALF) Summer Intensive, I’ve finally found time to reflect on some of my experiences.  Ever since I truly began my self-directed learning journey, I’ve been asking myself: why did I have to wait until I was in my twenties before I could feel responsible for making the decisions in my own life?

The challenge for me this week was taking time to step back and notice, and to trust that, despite the difficult moments, IT really works.

I don’t know of, have never experienced, another model of learning-teaching where I could do as little (content) preparation and still feel overwhelmed with the level of engagement/enthusiasm, or the quality of the relationships being developed. From previous/formal study of pedagogy you might call this: seeking and following ‘teachable moments’. Read more

Drew’s ALF Summer Day 3 Reflections

ALF Summer Day 3

We got into talking about the GAME SHIFTING BOARD today.

GAME SHIFTING BOARD

Make implicit rules explicit

The Game Shifting Board outlines the current meeting format.

  • Mode
  • Interaction
  • Body Arrangement
  • Body Energy
  • Roles
  • Start/End

Each of the above points has multiple options which the group decides on. For instance the Mode could be Body Arrangement could be a circle or a standing decision cluster (where people stand on a side of the room to physically show where they stand on an issue)

This seems like a very interesting tool. I wish we had something like this in some Occupy meeting that were very implicit only to those in the know.

Drew’s ALF Summer Day 2 Reflections

ALF Summer Day 2

Started exploring some of the tools and methods the NYC and Charlotte schools use.

INTENTION -> CREATION -> REFLECTION (Cycle)

No boundaries is false.

In Occupy we said there were no leaders, and thus no boundaries, this was not true.

Players will search for those boundaries and push until they reach them.

The trick is to set loose enough boundaries that don’t get in the way of creativity and problem solving. Then be transparent about where and how these boundaries are defined.

In #ALC there is daily and weekly structure that build the player’s portfolio. A daily process is the Intention, Creation and Reflection Cycle.

Intention

Each day players are asked to set intentions while preparing their #KANBAN.

The KANBAN

is a tool for keeping track of projects and ideas as they are broken into tasks. Players move atomic tasks through labeled columns that generally break down into:
  1. Thinking about
  2. To-do
  3. Doing
  4. Done

Intention setting is shared in a standing meeting at the beginning of each day.

This focuses activity and provides space to collaborate.

Sharing intentions provides an accountability mechanism.

Creation

Play is an act of creation. As are other things. This is a space where players fulfill their intentions.

Reflection

At the end of each day players reflect on what they did, how/if their intentions were met.

Reflection is part of all processes, the ultimate goal is having documentation that can be reflected upon to (the portfolio)

This cycle can be used weekly or monthly to set longer term objectives.

Change Up

The player space lacks all but the most basic formal rules. Plays, not facilitators, are tasked with building community norms and rules.

One method for this is the Change Up.

AWARENESS -> IMPLEMENTATION -> PRACTICING -> COMMUNITY MASTERY

At the end of each week players and facilitators meet to bring opportunities or issues to the group.

Awareness Examples:

Opportunity

Someone is willing to gives lessons every Thursday. The group may be interested in organizing making space for these lessons.

Issues

Ants are showing up in the common room. Someone might suggest that the group only eat in the kitchen so not to attract ants. Anyone can propose a solution and move to

Implementation

If there is general agreement among the group then proposals will be tried out for a week.

If it’s not working STOP

It’s better to experiment and risk failing than to draw out process.

Implementations are reflected upon. If it doesn’t work the opportunity/issues are moved back to the awareness phase. Otherwise the activity becomes:

Practicing

A practice is a method that is used by players and reflected upon. Players uphold practices that are working and might abandon those that don’t.

After a proper amount of implementation and reflection practices added to a list of “mastered” practices.

Community Mastery

The body of practices that are second nature to the group or have becomes community norms. Through this process norms are created and documented. A new player is able to read the list of mastered community practices and gain a better understanding of how best to play.

Conclusion

With limited structure it is important to hold what is structured in high esteem. Daily meetings, intention setting, and reflections should be well attended and start on time.

Cycles of intention setting and reflections on execution build structure within which creativity can thrive.

I am excited to learn more about these tools and see them in action.

Drew’s ALF Summer Day 1 Reflections

I biked to the school with one of the other participants.

We sat in circles and performed the dreaded ice breakers today.

Activities of note:

  • If you really knew me.
    People laid bare emotions, were vulnerable in front of strangers. We voluntarily started statements with “if you really knew me…” and followed it with ideas, feels, and stories that only someone who really knew the speaker could/would know.
  • me!
    We walked around the room aimlessly. Someone would raise their hand and shout “me!”, then begin to tip over. It would be up to the others in the room to catch them before they fell. I was caught a time or two in the bystander effect where I didn’t react because I felt others would. No one was left to fall.
  • Intentions and fitting into the future.
    We discussed what we wanted to get out of the program and how it would impact our imagined future. This followed a number of minutes going over the Agile Learning “roots” and discussing some of the tools they use.

Over all I feel really good about the group of people, diverse in their experiences, and the methodology and tools in play.

We had just a bit of time to discuss projects. Web work will commence tomorrow, I’ve got access to a server and will be installing wordpress soon. Today I met with the people interested in making physical improvements. Painting was on the agenda so after discussing what we wanted to do I called paint stores and asked if they had miss tints, or as one person described it over the phone to me, a “goof”.

We drove to the local Black Hawk Hardware Store and picked up a number of “goofs” – maybe 6 big cans and 8 small ones – for about $30 (with 10% off).

A few of us purchased food then relaxed in the cool night.