A second-grade class starts a garden shop where they sell seed packets. The students collect the seeds from the garden, package them in hand-made envelopes, manage their inventory and reinvest their profits in outdoor learning.

Photo by: Josh Schachter

7th graders co-create children’s stories with pre-schoolers. The seventh graders visit the pre-school classroom, learn about early literacy, and write children’s stories that they later print and share with the pre-schoolers who contribute illustrations.

In a learning landscape of pacing calendars, state standards, over testing, and merit-based pay for performance, authentic learning-by-doing (like the garden shop and 7th grade early literacy project) just isn’t the norm.

Why? Because swimming against the current is hard. Innovation in any setting is intellectually and emotionally taxing…it takes courage.[1] Fear of failure, fear of looking-bad, fear of losing a job are all very real. But it’s authentic learning experiences that inspire a love of learning and make school relevant for students and teachers, alike. This is why LeadLocal (with our partners Real World Scholars and CommunityShare) is hosting Off Script 2017, a retreat for innovative teachers and school leaders.

Being an innovative teacher can be isolating. Not only do teachers spend approximately 90% of their time working alone with students, when you’re operating with a growth mindset in a school culture with a fixed mindset, it can be lonely.[2] Off Script retreat gives educators the opportunity to improve their craft with other teachers who are focused on providing authentic learning experiences and promoting integrated learning–off script.

The 2017 Off Script retreat is designed as a retreat…not your typical conference or professional development opportunity. During the two-day retreat, participants will have time for reflection and creation while gaining exposure to basic exercises and the tenets of design thinking and entrepreneurship that can support authentic learning in the classroom and beyond. Participants will leave with Monday-morning activities, new insights about teaching and learning, and new friendships.

Leading up to Off Script we will be sharing stories of authentic learning. Follow our blog to subscribe to our newsletter.
More information on Off Script 2017 visit the Off Script info page. Off Script happens February 16-18, 2017 in sunny Tucson, AZ. Registration is $375.


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