Almost two years ago I wrote a post about leaving education after a 27 year career to pursue a passion around design and learning spaces.
My opportunities working with The Third Teacher+ have been everything I thought they would be and more. In the past two years, I’ve grown tremendously as a professional, had the opportunity to work with some of the most creative and amazing people I’ve ever met, and have had the opportunity to learn about architecture and design in a very deep way, much more than I could have ever done as an educational practitioner. My experience over this time meant learning a new profession with its own language, and it required me to learn with a new focus, new intent, and at a velocity I had not encountered in a long time. I think the most beneficial thing that I have learned is how to approach problems and opportunities with the mindset of a designer, and with that I’ve been able to see education in an entirely new way.
During my time at TTT+, I’ve had the opportunity to work on a number of great projects from the redesign of the College of Education at The University of Idaho to the design of the Waukee Center for Advanced Professional Studies in Waukee, Iowa. Along the way, I’ve worked with The Lovett School and The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, with Winona State University, Rockford (IL) Public Schools, St. Francis Xavier in Wilmette, Illinois, Logan City Schools in Logan, Utah, the Beacon Academy, Quest Academy, the Rondout School, and with the Lyon School, all in Illinois. I’ve had opportunities to work on design competitions for major additions/renovations and for new construction in the Chicago area. Much of that work that I have done has been focused on the design of learning spaces, and doing the front end component of the design process (called Discovery) and using my understanding of education to support the interactions of client and designer. I also had a unique opportunity to provide a different perspective for the designers and help them understand their designs through an educational lens.
I’ve had a chance to develop relationships with architecture firms across the country, including my friends at INVISION Architecture in Des Moines and the Miller-Hull Partnership in Seattle. My work has also included developing relationships with a variety of furniture manufacturers, including Steelcase, VS, and KI.
During my time at The Third Teacher+, I’ve also done a great deal of professional development and speaking in support of my role, working with The Lovett School, with the Texas Computer Education Association, with the Illinois Computing Educators, Hamilton Community Schools in Hamilton, Michigan, and with Cypress Fairbanks ISD in Houston, with Cattaragus-Allegheny BOCES in New York and with the National Association of School Boards. I’ve written articles for NSBA and for Learning Spaces Magazine.
Needless to say, I’ve had a very rich experience. It has been absolutely terrific.
So I’m excited to announce that I am now venturing into my next experience by forming my own consultancy that will leverage a 30 year career in education as a teacher, as a school administrator, as an educational technologist, as a speaker and professional developer, and as a learning space designer. I think that is a timely intersection of a variety of skill sets that are interesting and will be of high value in helping reshape schools in a number of ways.
I anticipate that a great deal of work will be focused on crafting new spaces for learning, both physical and digital, and providing realistic solutions for moving forward with the development of learning spaces, at a range of scales across schools. This work will also include providing educators with the opportunities that are required to understand the addition of new spaces and how they can be utilized to support a different condition for student learning.
If any of those skills match with a need of yours, please let me know. I’ll also be looking at a variety of strategic partnerships, and I’m thrilled that some are already in progress. If you see an opportunity or connection in your role or profession that would be interesting, let’s talk.
I’ve always wanted to do this and the time is now. So, with all of that said, I’m just beginning to get started, so please look forward to the launch of what will be a new adventure, and new opportunities to step forward to work with individuals and organizations to create a new expedition for students and for their learning.
image courtesy of Hampton Roads Partnership