What is a connector? A connector is a way to look at and think about relationships, any type of relationship. First, you start with the output...what to do want to happen? Then, you look at the input...what is the current situation? Finally, you focus on the transforms or the actions that connect your input to the output. In the end, the only thing we have real control over are the transforms, or the actions that you can make in a situation.
In simpler terms, every teacher, every student, every parent, we are all connected at Laurel Mountain. What we say and how we act affects everyone within our learning community. And every one's output as a direct affect one someone else's input.
Let me give you an example. Let's pretend that I am not a morning person (side note: I know this is a stretch, since why would a person pick the profession of a teacher if he/she was not a morning person? But for this situation, we are just going to pretend). And let's say that I am on morning duty and I do not smile or greet a child walking in to school. That child goes to class upset because I did not acknowledge him/her. That child acts rude to his/her teacher, which then has started off that teacher's day on a bad note. My output 9not smiling) had a direct affect on that teacher's input (being treated with disrespect). It is all about the connections and the relationships that we create.
Nancy and Debbie lead us through several different activities to demonstrate this point: my output directly affects some one's input.
In this activity, we learned how hard it is to stay calm with so many "balls" in the air.
Lory the Lion
Next, we discussed how in any organization there are smaller connectors inside the BIG connector. See picture below.
All of the connectors need to line up for the organization to run smoothly.
We were put in small groups and thought about the other connectors that fit inside Lory. We first worked on our relationship connectors. How we act towards others has direct affect on our students, staff and parents. The picture below shows how our relationship connectors line up inside Lory. Each output affect another group's input.
Those blue papers are our relationship connectors. Notice how all of the outputs line up with the next group's input.
Next, we worked on our academic connectors. This time, we were grouped by grade level. We discussed how we want our students to leave that grade level (output), how they come to that grade level (input) and finally what we can do as teachers to get them to that desired output (transforms/actions). In the end, the only thing we have control over as teachers are the transforms, or what we can do to make sure our students are ready for the next level. See the picture below to see how our academic connectors fit inside Lory.
The pink ones are our academic connectors.
It was a eye-opening day of learning. There were several "ah-hahs!" and "hmmm..." throughout the day. Nancy and Debbie were very easy to listen to and entertaining. But they did get the message across that our output affects the input of everyone we come in contact with.
So, finally back to the title of this entry, "Connecting a Hurricane to LME". What does a massive storm have to do with our school. Well, look at the definition below:
"A hurricane: many individual raindrops cooperating."
An individual raindrop can't do much good. It can water one blade of grass. However, one raindrop is not going to do much good for the whole yard. But when those raindrops get together and cooperate, massive change can happen (as shown to us this past week with Hurricane Issac).
At Laurel Mountain, we want to be a hurricane. We want to be strong. We want to be a powerful force of change. The only way we can do that is by working together. That means all of us, teachers, parents and students. By thinking about, creating and remembering our connectors we can guarantee a successful and powerful year of learning for all of the students at Laurel Mountain.
Continuing to develop the whole child....