Let the Magic Begin

Walking into the ZDL, my colleague Devon and I exchanged smiles as we took in the bright charm of the place. The two of us love creating learning experiences for teachers– no moment is greater when you arrive, set the space and let the magic begin. We’re chronic over-preparers, Devon and I, the type of educators who create a graphic organizer 10 different ways so we can see which one feels right, and there’s nothing more liberating when preparation is over, and it’s time to do.

At the d.school, we believe in doing above all else. One of our designer mindsets is being biased towards action: the impetus to build and test ideas and concepts rather than talk about them. Our first workshop with Adat Ari El was crafted to model action by running the teachers through their own design workshop in three hours, and they performed with energy and enthusiasm– owning what it means to act and think like a designer.

When our work with the teachers ended for the day, Adat Ari El opened the ZDL to the entire community, and we were moved by the volume of interested parents and stakeholders who arrived to hear us speak about our work. Of course, being biased toward action, we couldn’t help but run the community group through a rapid design session, so they could experience for themselves what it was like to learn from a design perspective.

As the night came to a close, it dawned on us that the day was just the beginning of a relationship that would continue to yield great learning experiences for teachers and students. We arrived ready to work with a few teachers, and we left feeling like members of a community.

Ariel Raz

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