Stanford Schools Good Shepherd in Teacher Training

[pullquote-left]Workshop focuses on innovation[/pullquote-left]Stanford’s Institute of Design is leaving California for the first time, heading east to Good Shepherd Episcopal School for a K-12 Educator Design Thinking Workshop on July 28-30.

The, known for its design thinking process, gives teachers skills to promote creativity and innovation across all subjects.

The workshop will host around 40 teachers from around the country for breakout sessions on empathy, mindfulness, and reasoning. Three Good Shepherd teachers made it out to the school’s workshop last year in Palo Alto, Calif.

“One thing they said that really stuck with me was something to the effect of, ‘We don’t want to change what you do. We want to change who you are,’” said Julie McLeod, director of technology at Good Shepherd. “It made me a different person, one that sees problems differently and is geared toward action.”

The design institute agreed in December to send professors from its K-12 division to teach both creative and analytical approaches to boosting confidence and innovation in the classroom.

Laura Cole joined McLeod last year for the California workshop and uses the skills she learned in the school’s innovative space as the technology and design teacher.

Fourth-graders in Cole’s class used the brainstorming process to work through an immigration experience for Mars. The kindergarteners used prototyping techniques to build leprechaun traps this past March.

“When you’re in a room with a group of people brainstorming with no judgment, you’ll have so many more good ideas than if you were sitting alone with a piece of paper,” Cole said.

Ten Good Shepherd faculty members — from lower school administrators to technology education teachers — will be joining the other workshop attendees. With less than three months of application time, the workshop received over 80 applicants from 23 different schools. In McLeod’s eyes, it’s already a success.

“This is a partnership we’re working on for the long term,” McLeod said. “This is step two of the many stops along our journey together.”

Cole cannot wait for the workshop to impact more teachers, and students, around the country.

“You play hard and leave everything on the table,” she said. “We learned so much last year that we didn’t want to leave.”

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