Thursday, July 1, 2010
Adventures in Santa Fe
For my first post I am compelled to write about my summer exploits in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Learning is just apart of who I am as an educator and therefore every year I try to find something, somewhere to give me deeper appreciation and knowledge that I can share with my students. So, last February as I was looking through the many opportunities for summer workshops I was intrigued by one called "Contested Homelands."
"Contested Homelands" was being developed and sponsored by the University of New Mexico. I was interested because I didn't have a lot of historical knowledge of New Mexico other than the Santa Fe Trail and the Camino Real and because the fact that I didn't know much bothered me. So...I applied and was accepted! Yay me!
The good news is that there was a stipend for the workshop. The bad news is that it ended about the same time ISTE10 was taking place in Denver. Nonetheless, I was excited to be going on another journey. One that would prove to be my most fulfilling yet.
As the date approached I received a book on Po'Pay and some articles on the history of Santa Fe. Very interesting reads for a history geek like me. Of course I did a little research to find out more and was feeling pretty good about my trip.
I arrived for a weeklong adventure by way of 10 hours of travel time that took me through four different airports, the least of which was Phoenix International, ugh! Nonetheless, there I was in Santa Fe ready to learn and boy was I going to learn.
The week started off with a nice reception and introductions from the four leaders of this adventure and discovery. They made us feel at ease despite the demanding schedule we would endure for the week. I was feeling pretty good about my time in New Mexico and prepared for the variety of activities we would be exposed to in the days to come. And we did a lot but the outcome from this journey surprised even me.
See, it wasn't the museums or the visits to pueblos or the lectures by respected scholars that impacted and inspired me. It was the relationships I built with other educators from around the country. How powerful it was to connect with each other, learn and grow as professionals and people. I am truly blessed by the people I met and as the director of the project, Dr. Rebecca Sanchez said to me, that hopefully "elements from this workshop weave into your consciousness." Those elements for me are the people. So, take that to your classrooms and remember that the most important elements are the ones that come through your door during the school year and for many of us the educators who make up our PLN.