The Power of “Live-By” Professional Learning

So, I want to tell you why I think you should join us for Change School 4.

And I want to get personal, which many of you know is one of my favorite words.

For the last dozen years or so, I’ve spent a lot of time on the road visiting lots of schools, keynoting and speaking at lots of conferences, offering workshops…doing all the things that people who make careers out of speaking and writing and consulting do. I’ve been trying to poke and prod and get people out of their comfort zones without making them hate me. And for the most part, I’ve really loved it. I’ve seen amazing places, met amazing people, and learned so much about the world, education, and myself. I don’t regret this journey at all.

But it’s always felt incomplete on some level. As much as I hate the term, I’ve primarily been a purveyor of “drive-by professional development,” the kind where I show up, get people motivated (or pissed,) and then get on a plane and leave. The kind where many people in the audience show up because they have to, not because they want to.

The good news for me is the feedback has usually been really positive. The bad news is that I’m not sure I’ve made all that much of a lasting difference in the grand scheme of things.

My sense is that in most places, despite best intentions, not much changes after I leave.

Which is one of the main reasons Bruce and Missy and I started Change School last March. Because real change takes time, and sustained effort, and ongoing support and, yes, therapy as well. We wondered what might happen if we could create an online community where educational leaders could become deeply connected, where we might be able to coach them over months and years, where we might stick around for more than an hour or a day.

To put it another way, we wondered if “live-by professional learning” might be a more effective alternative to “drive-by.”

That’s a phrase I just came up with a couple of days ago, actually. And the more I thought about it, the more it resonated. “Learning is the work, and the work is learning” as Harold Jarche says. These days, learning doesn’t stop. It’s not an event.

We live it, every day.

Now, three cohorts and in, that’s what Change School has allowed me and 160+ leaders from around the world to do in the past year, to learn professionally over the long term in ways that I haven’t experienced before. And that’s because I would humbly suggest we’ve done a pretty decent job of creating the conditions for deep and powerful learning to happen among a diverse, global group of educational leaders.

At Change School, we meet you where you are. It’s not a course where we’re trying to teach particular content or curriculum. We provide a frame for the work, but you drive your own learning. And connections. And conversations. And initiatives in your school. We do a lot of coaching, or counseling depending on the moment, and we add context where we can.

These days, learning doesn’t stop. It’s not an event.

But Change School is about you and your work in a community of other passionate leaders who are trying to create a better experience of school for the students and adults that they serve.

We’ve been humbled by the testimonials that our community members have offered up. And they’ve eliminated any doubt in my mind that this experience can be transformative should you choose to participate…and contribute.

And please understand: this isn’t feel-good fuzzy stuff. It’s work. It’s uncomfortable. It’s confusing. It’s not for the faint of heart. You need to be willing to put all of your beliefs and truths about education and learning on the table, break them down and then put them back together again through a more modern learning lens.

All that said, I hope you join us. It’s time to Change School. It’s time to push the conversation around change to a higher level. And it’s time to get connected to a pretty amazing group of leaders who already are enjoying their lifetime membership to our fast growing community.

Enrollment is now open for Cohort 4. And if you sign up before December 15, 2017, you can use the discount code “500off” to get $500 off the regular price of membership.

We have a limited number of spots remaining. Hope to see you there.

(PS: Check out our FAQ for more details, and check out our participating schools list as well.)


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