When invited to join INDE at the Wisconsin Leadership Development (“WiLD”) training held at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire I accepted with an open mind. I was curious about the process and ready to learn more about those who work so hard bringing alternative learning to schools in the region. Meeting Bill and Tim, getting to know better Erica, Anna, and Liz over the course of three very intense days of training was a genuine pleasure. Their passion for educational practices that focus on the the interests and wellbeing of children was apparent from the very beginning.
We were encouraged to tell our own stories, illustrating how we came to be working for substantive reform in public schools. Hearing the heart-felt narratives really inspired me to dig deep into my own experiences as a student and realize that my own values are shaped by my personal history. School should not stand in the way of a student’s learning. As a teacher, I really want to lessen the suffering of students by learning their stories and building trust in an authentic way.
Dan Grandone and the WiLD team gave me the tools needed to articulate my values by workshopping coaching techniques alongside the INDE group. By sharing stories we can encourage others to contemplate their own personal histories. We can join together to work for positive change in schools. Another lesson from WiLD: We can accomplish bigger things when we work together. The INDE group is wholly dedicated to the notion that the lives of students can get better. It’s a dream that we can make reality by organizing those of us who care about making schools that consider the interest and wellbeing of all students. Together we can make the dream of child-centered education a reality.