A few years ago, a friend of mine, Mary Cantwell, wrote a blog post that really resonated with me, entitled ‘Seeking a New Playground.’ That blog post caused me to pause and consider the similarities and differences between work environments and playgrounds. Working in an elementary school, the playground is an essential part of our day, where students come together to learn and play and interact with different groups of people than perhaps the students in their homeroom. What if as adults, we applied that playground approach to our own work?
Well…fast forward a few years from that initial post, and now it’s my turn. Growth, while often bittersweet, is, to me, inevitable. And so I too, am seeking a new playground. I am hoping to find a new space where I can grow and collaborate alongside members of a diverse team, much like my students do on the playground.
My professional journey has been a windy road beginning with an undergraduate program at Rosemont College in elementary education & psychology, then moving to a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in education policy and program design. From there, my journey led me to a wonderful K-5 public school, working in the role of teacher/librarian & media specialist, and to my most recent role as a technology coordinator at a PreK-12 independent school. Along the way, I’ve also worked extensively in public libraries and have had the opportunity to present and share my work and the work of my students in both local and state-level venues throughout the country. I am grateful for the additional twist in my journey that allowed me to travel to San Francisco with a group of Doctoral students from Penn last spring. I had the opportunity to take classes at Stanford’s d.School and have collaborative conversations about technology and its meaningful integration in schools with a variety of educational leaders.
While I have been fortunate enough to create a makerspace in each of the schools I’ve worked in, I would love the opportunity to work in collaboration with teams of teachers, adult learners, and/or students to infuse the sort of thinking that accompanies a makerspace into the broader pedagogy and curricula conversations of an organization. I would like to take the concept of a makerspace beyond a lego wall, to move the idea of design thinking beyond a wall of post-it notes; taking each to the next level.
In short, I am seeking a new playground. For me…”choosing to go towards the cracking in order to keep expanding, is the only way to go.” While the present may be uncertain, it is filled with possibility and opportunities for growth. I carry with me a set of diverse educational experiences and skills, as well as a creative and innovative spirit.