Hey Ben and Tina,
I wanted to check in with you both about the first two weeks of school. Feel free to share on the blog or not! A lot of this came out of a conversation I had with Tina last week about using the Invisibles with kids in poverty.
First of all, I have to say THANK YOU! I literally leave school everyday HAPPY and NOT STRESSED OUT! I was worried whether or not an untargeted approach would “work” with kids at my school. I’ve never done CI before, much less used untargeted structures, and I work at a very diverse but high poverty high school in Portland. Over the past two weeks, I’ve seen a tremendous amount of joy, buy-in and imagination any time we begin One Word Images. High school sophomores and juniors are arguing over who gets to be the artist and whether or not the pencil’s name is Dr. Phil or Jorge. From reading the blog I know others are also experiencing students’ excitement and joy surrounding this work. What makes this so remarkable to me is that this approach is reaching the population of students I serve.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the doubts surrounding whether untargeted approaches can work in high school, specifically with kids of poverty. The reason I was so drawn to this approach is because of how truly radical this approach has the potential to be–asking the children who have been most beaten down and disenfranchised to take ownership over creating stories and even imagine other possibilities. I get goose bumps thinking about what might happen if we created a space for kids, especially kids in poverty, to think outside the box. They might start questioning the status quo. They might start imagining other possibilities for themselves and our world. They might foment revolution. Or, they might just have one class a day, where they can relax, laugh, and tell a story about an invisible character.