By Colleen Worrell, Director of The Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning
Searching for a Theme Song
This is not an article; it is an invitation. I am searching for a theme song to define the work that The Center will do with and for St. Mark’s students this year (and beyond).
I cannot do this work alone and am inviting students to lead this process.
First, I want to connect with students and hear your ideas on what The Center is and should be. St. Mark’s students have astute insights on and understanding around what type of learning “works” for them and what they crave out of their St. Mark’s education. Inspired by the students who so openly shared advice at New Faculty Orientation in August, and by Design Thinking’s focus on “the user” (shout out to Ms. Berndt and Ms. Matthews!), The Center is creating a student leadership and advisory team to make student voice and student experience more integral to the work we do.
The Center already has programming designed to empower student learning: Student Support, Peer Tutors, Career Day, Grants, and Internships. But as the new Director of the Center, I want to learn more about what students want The Center to do and be for them. Student advisors will help us develop programs and opportunities that can drive our “What If” thinking around empowering student learning at and beyond St Mark’s School. Here’s a shortlist of things I’m wondering about:
- What is the best advice you have for structuring long block classes?
- What do you think about changes that have happened at SM, and what would you like to change (or keep the same)?
- What learning opportunities beyond our campus would you like to tap into?
- What if students collaborated with faculty to create Saturday courses?
- How can we get more students publishing (in LEO and beyond!), giving TedTalks, speaking at conferences, and participating in global challenges and competitions?
- How can we support student activism and build learning around your interests and passions?
Second, I need students to help me find a theme song, not only because I want to make sure that it resonates with you, but also because I am musically challenged. I had to reach into the 80s and pull out Janet Jackson’s “What Have I Done For You Lately” for my theme song for faculty. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an epic song — but it gives you a sense of just how dated my musical tastes are.
And if having a 1980’s soundtrack running through my brain is not sign enough that I need your help, consider this: my first inclination was to call this a Theme Song Throwdown, which immediately brought to mind Hannah Montana’s “Hoedown Throwdown.” Enough said?
So, please, help me get “Pop It. Lock It. Polka Dot It” out of my head, and become part of a Student Advisory & Leadership Team for The Center.
RVSP to this invitation by stopping by my office or sending me an email, so we can work together to find a theme song and consider any “What Ifs” you want to drive to The Center.
Dr. Colleen Worrell is the Director of The Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning. She earned a BA in American Studies from Colby College and an MA/PhD in American Studies from The College of William & Mary. Dr. Worrell teaches Social Justice and is advisor for Model U.N. She lives in Hopkinton with her husband, 3 children, 6 chickens, and a couple of hives of bees.