During the final hour of Learn to Learn V we sat in a large circle with a microphone at the center, giving us the space and the opportunity to share our reflections on the week. Some shared new realizations about our School and curriculum, others complimented teammates and celebrated their accomplishments from the week. It was not until later that evening, in my own reflection, that I realized what an impact Learn to Learn has had on me.
Two summers ago, at Learn to Learn IV, we were grouped in pairs and challenged to create a solution-based prototype for our partner using design thinking methodology. My partner Katie, a lower school teacher at a nearby independent school, was on a personal wellness journey and searching for a way to share her success with her community of family and friends. For months she had been training for her first triathlon while overcoming understandably consequential physical, emotional, and mental obstacles. While sharing her story and defining her personal goals, Katie mentioned that this triathlon was in a month. I listened, I empathized, and my ideas began multiplying.
In the prototype I presented to Katie I suggested a celebration to culminate the support from her friends and family, the coaching and physical training, the mental and emotional obstacles she overcame, and, most importantly, the happiness she rediscovered through her journey to personal wellness.
A month later, I was fortunate to be amongst the family and friends celebrating Katie’s triathlon that day. Since Learn to Learn IV we have become dear friends, and we continue to openly support each other in both our professional and personal lives.