Towards the end of the school last year I posted on Twitter asking for any requests about good summer reads with a particular focus on project design, inquiry, or student agency. One suggestion in particular stood out to me, a book titled Dive Into Inquiry by Trevor McKenzie. I asked a colleague friend of mine who I often discuss new ideas with about the book and he said he hadn’t read it but he’s heard good things. He also suggested I follow Trevor on Twitter as he is a good follow and posts a lot of interesting things about education, inquiry, and teaching in general. So I asked my principle for the $20 for the book, got approved, and put in my order.
In the meantime I came across this graphic on Trevor’s twitter about inquiry:
I engaged with some different educators in a few conversations on Twitter about the different levels of inquiry, when they are best used, and the scaffolding that goes between the different levels. So with some early insights into the concepts I eagerly awaited my new book.
So there’s a couple things I want to focus on that I think are important in the context of intrapreneurial thinking before I get into the content of the book. First I got the idea for the book from a Twitter request. While a lot of people have a lot of preconceived ideas about what Twitter is and what goes on there. I do think it is important to point out that there is a rich community of educators on there who are very supportive. I have found that I can pose questions, make requests, or throw out an idea and get many insightful and well thought out responses. So one strategy to increasing your capacity within your organization is to get active on Twitter as a platform and engage with other educators.
Secondly, I shared with a colleague of mine about this new book I was looking to get. First it is important to develop relationships within your organization with people who have similar interests and are open to new ideas. This way you have someone to run things by, to get input from, and to engage in conversation with concerning different thing you are trying. There is a lot of value in avoiding trying new things in a vacuum. Don’t have anyone that you engage with on this level? Bring a book that you are reading with you to your next faculty meeting. Ask a couple people if they are familiar with it. Ask your principle or leadership person if you can announce in the meeting if anyone is familiar with this book or if anyone else would like to get a copy ordered and you can read it together. Anything to get the conversation started internally can be beneficial. You never know who those people are within your organization that have those similar interests until you put it out there.
And finally, after getting the book I reached out to the author on Twitter. I commented on some of their posts. I made my own posts mentioning that I ordered the book and I tagged them. I engaged in some conversations with others who had mentioned or tagged the author. Creators are very engaged on Twitter. They rely on their audience to build and maintain their presence so they are more than willing to engage with you many social platforms. Since reaching out on Twitter I have had many correspondences with Trevor either through direct messaging or via his posts and I have been able to build a relationship with him. He has kept me in the loop about professional development that he is leading in my area and has also connected me with other educators who are looking into similar topics.
So with all that said, before I had even gotten the book, I had already begun to engage with the topic, build my network, and start the process of creating new ideas and relationships that I can use to leverage my capacity as an educator and support student learning.
I look forward to sharing more in this multi part blog series on my journey with Dive Into Inquiry. I will cover the ideas and concepts in the book, how I prototyped using inquiry via my music technology class, some ideas about how I am looking to use inquiry in my math classroom, as well as how inquiry fits into some broader institutional initiates at my school.