I spent the whole day in an Open Space meeting with teachers from three schools. This was my first experience of Open Space. It's wonderful but it's also intense, particularly when it's conducted mostly in your third language. I'm exhausted and my brain is full. By the end I was zoning out for a few seconds at a time and coming back to realize I didn't know what was being said.
I hope to blog more in the future about Open Space. It is a technique that works well in a variety of situations, and in our case, where we're trying to do some professional development for teachers in rural schools who belong to a very different culture from ours, it fit the bill perfectly. This type of meeting puts everyone on an equal footing as participants, learners, and contributors. I had read a bit about Open Space before because La Leche League, an organization for which I do volunteer work, has used it.
I didn't even get to read the Saturday Review of Books this morning or work in my classroom, as I usually do. But that's OK, because I think we started some valuable conversations.
4 hours ago