Teaching Fellows Take a Day Away to Focus on Team Building

The New Year was barely nine days old and we’d just returned to Eagle Rock from our trimester break. And now, here we were, heading off to the YMCA of the Rockies for our mid-year Fellows’ Day Away.

As director of Public Allies here at Eagle Rock, I was responsible for facilitating our 12 Public Allies fellows through a day that focused on reconnecting, framing the trimester ahead, reflecting and goal-setting, and intentional time to work on Team Service Projects (TSPs).

Our day began with a quick energizer outside, highlighted by a backdrop that included snow-covered views of the Rockies.


Michael Soguero, our Professional Development Center (PDC) director, presented us with an introduction and overview of the Leadership Challenge — a global campaign to liberate the leader in everyone. Fellows will be learning and utilizing skills outlined in the Leadership Challenge framework to frame their TSP work for the trimester.

Michael highlighted the importance of Continue reading…

Understanding Our Professional Development Center’s Theory of Action

Here at Eagle Rock School, our Professional Development Center owes much of its success to the fact that we take seriously our charge of having an impact on student engagement in high schools on a national basis. Ours is a small team with four national facilitators, and as a result, we are spread rather thin considering our nationwide parameters.

As a result, we don’t crisscross the country in an effort to persuade other schools to do things our way — even though our own school’s processes have been incredibly successful, especially where re-engaging the unengaged has been concerned. Instead, we concentrate on working with educators who agree that they have “something” that they want to improve upon with respect to their own schools’ engagement with its students. And once we’re in accord, we surface the assets of the target school or organization and help them create an implementation plan around their particular assets.

In other words, we teach educators and administrators how to cook with the ingredients already in their kitchen.

To do this, we’ve developed a ‘hedgehog’ — a single-minded and focused strategy that we successfully use ourselves and urge other educational institutions to employ. And before we go further, a brief description of this concept is in order.

Identifying your hedgehog is a notion that was popularized by Jim Collins in his best-selling book, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t. The concept envisions a Continue reading…