Personal Learning Plan

This is a personal learning plan for Patrick Yurick as a part of his High Tech High Graduate School of Education School Leadership residency requirements. 

What are your hopes and dreams for your learning through this program? How do you hope to grow as an educator and leader?

– Project Based Learning Blended School System Design
Since I began my career in education I’ve been interested in experimenting with ways of integrating technology into the teaching experience that serve to enhance the way students interact with the world around them. I’m motivated to do this because I’m a tech geek but also, more importantly, I’m interested in helping bring down the costs of high quality education (like HTH’s equity-based PBL) so that it can easily, and affordably, reach people who need it the most.

– Leadership Through The Lens Of Art Education
I’ve been an artist my entire life. Art is the most healing and centering part of who I am. I’m specifically interested in integrating art education into my practice so that I can help people practice the use art for healing and self-expression.

– School Environment Design
When I first came to HTH I was immediately impressed by the way that art is used within the school to evoke a sense of inspiration. After visiting the Sagrada Familia this past year I’ve become inspired again to design education facilities and experiences that evoke a sense of wonder and excitement.

In regards to developing your craft as an educator,  
After two years out of the field, I feel more ready than ever to engage with education. When I left before I had become cynical due to a conflation of factors. (My student’s death, reaching the boundaries of what I could do in the system I was in, needing room to grow, etc.) I’ve now returned with a sense of wonder and excitement I haven’t had since I started teaching in 2008.

How would you like to grow?
The growth areas don’t seem to change since I started teaching in 2008, just my understandings of them. I’d like to listen better. I’d like to speak less and offer advice to people only when solicited. I’d like to be more effective as a leader by helping the people following me feel more empowered to make decisions and act within their sectors of control with confidence and autonomy.

After looking at the “Effective Leader” document, reflect on the following aspects of your development as a leader (from within or outside the classroom):
Due to the multitude of High Tech High projects (around 57 I believe?) that I completed during my five years teaching at HTHCV I feel I am proficient in the areas of “Shape Learning” and “Build Community”. In fact the latter, community, is something I know how to do really well at this point.

How would you like to grow?
I could stand to get a little better at the equity piece in “Shape Learning”. I do pretty well, but I’d like to do so with more intentionality and reflection.

In “Build Community” I’d like to work more on creating sustainable community designs. Specifically thinking about how to craft a community where I’m a node as opposed to a bottleneck.

I feel like I have a tenuous grasp on everything within the field of “Share Leadership” and I’m looking forward to more opportunities to grow through them this coming year.

What inquiry questions are emerging about your practice?

  • How can emotions be nurtured to understand and foster growth within a community?
  • How can we scale educational experiences to help the most amount of people possible?
  • How can we design experiences & places that serve to inspire people in their education?

How might any of these evolve into a masters project?

  • Initially I am thinking it will be important to pay close attention to how Lillian Hsu, the director I am shadowing for the year, works with her staff. Lillian has a track record of really understanding, pushing, and nurturing her staff towards innovation. I am going to study how she does this.
  • I also have an opportunity to codesign a professional development experience amongst the staff at HTH that will double as a multi-modal training course for people outside of the organization. Check it out.
  • I am thinking of reaching out to start some informational interviews with school designers – specifically David Stephen comes to mind ( an original HTH designer).