The InspirED Global Fellowship Prepares for the Future
The InspirED Global Fellowship, from our partner Nevada Succeeds, is in the midst of their important work to develop innovative policies and strategies to support student success in Nevada. A central theme of the work of Design Team I—the first cadre of InspirED Fellows—is the recommendation to develop and adopt a statewide Portrait of a Nevada Graduate, which would define a set of characteristics that students must possess for optimal preparedness after high school. Even as they round the home stretch for this first iteration, the Fellowship is already preparing for the future.
“When you approach this kind of work thinking critically about the knowledge, mindsets and skills needed to affect lasting change, a natural next step is examining educator profiles,” said Jeanine Collins, Nevada Succeeds executive director. The Fellowship will prepare to layer in this idea as they begin to recruit teams that represent layers of the Nevada education system across the state. “We’re already looking to engage some Fellows from Design Team I to work with us on this next iteration, so that the collaboration continues – so that the learning connects across fellowship cycles.”
That focus on continuing the learning from the first cadre of Fellows has its roots in the work of Design Team I. Originally intended to feature as a hallmark sending the Fellows to Singapore for a full immersion, the COVID-19 pandemic forced fundamental programming changes that are informing the future work to come. “The components of Singapore that have been fascinating to unpack are the intentionality and coherence in their approach to educator development and clarity around comprehensive student outcomes,” Collins said. “Because the pandemic forced a pivot away from actually traveling there, we were able to refocus our interest toward innovation – our learning is dictating the work we do, not predetermined program deliverables. The policy recommendations and prototyping are organic, truly informed by what emerges.“
That organic approach has led to opportunities for the Fellows to not only revise their outward thinking as their learning progresses, but also reflect inwardly, as well. A recent self-assessment exercise, a “Letter to Myself,” allowed the Fellows to write about their own experiences with the Fellowship, reflecting both on how they viewed education prior to joining the Fellowship, and what the experience has taught them. Nevada high school teacher and Fellowship participant Jessica Sneek writes that she has learned her own life and professional experiences can inform how she approaches helping her students grow. “Remaining curious, asking the right questions of myself, others, the system and my students are the keys to innovation and change,” she writes. “What a testament to the idea that each and every one of us can create something from nothing, redefine success and lead from the seat we are in.”