Developing a Design Program in an Elementary School – Part 5

The next step is to draw a detailed design of your idea from two viewpoints. This is the point where I ask students to move from simply sketching, to drawing with detail. I also ask them at this stage to add labels and begin considering materials. I usually say something like “If you think that you are going to build that part out of cardboard, write “cardboard” on the design somewhere, and draw an arrow to that part.”

This is also the time where I give the students a size limitation. Giving them a size limit can tend to frustrate them, but it serves three purposes. First, it means that we aren’t all making giant designs that can’t be stored in our limited space. Second, it saves on materials. Third, it helps them to understand that they are not building full life size models, but instead scaled prototypes.

One of the things that I have learned is that the students have big ambitions. If you give them the space, and the materials, they will build it in full size. However, that also means that they expect it to work as if it were built out of sturdier stuff than cardboard and paper!

This is also the point where I do the LIT Studio Orientation. The orientation involves watching a video that introduces the LIT Studio space, and the items in it, while also going through the safety rules and expectations. After watching the video, I usually have students come up and do their materials shopping. Shopping for materials, or at least looking for what is in the room is a great way to get them familiar with what is in the room and what is available to use. This gets them up and walking around the room for a short time, which is usually all the time that is left over in this lesson.

This is also where I emphasize, quite heavily, the importance of safety in the LIT Studio. I explain the safety rules and expectations and how it is everyone’s responsibility to be safe. I even tell them that if they see a teacher being unsafe, they must speak up. That is usually me forgetting to put gloves on in the hot glue gun station!

These are our two main safety signs. They are both on the wall by the door so they are able to be seen as students walk in. The one with the colors for supervision is posted in multiple places around the room, including locations where supervision is needed. This system has turned out to be very helpful in the management and independence of the room. Students don’t need to ask if they can use a tool since they know the rules by looking at it.

It is also easy to manage students because, when I spot them using a tool in error, all I have to do is say, “What color is the tool you are holding?” Then they can look down at the color coding system and realize straight away that they are not following the expectations. They also monitor each other in this way.

The safety equipment icons are also able to be used round the room to show what should be worn in any specific station. I add those three icons to each station sign and students can self manage their safety.

All of these systems have led to a room that allows students to have a level of independence. This, in turn, gives way to more creativity and exploration of their ideas.

Stay tuned for part 6/6

Developing a Design Program in an Elementary School – Part 4

During the “Define” phase of this project, I asked both groups to define a problem to solve, based upon the focus I gave them.

For Grade Four, this part was easy, because they were each defining a solution for indoor recess. In that, there is something clear to “define”. In contrast, for Grade Five, I gave them the problem “Design a safe habitat for an astronaut”. I then asked them to define their focus. Their focuses have covered a range of topics from food, to comfort, to plants, to communication, to emergency evacuation and more.

For the “Ideate” phase, I asked the students to create three design sketches. The only guidelines were:

  • Stick to the scope of the project
  • Each design needs to be unique, but can build on from another
  • Don’t talk about your designs yet. Just focus and ideate on what you think you should have.

After giving them about five minutes, which seemed to be about the average amount of time that they needed, we moved on to the “Feedback” phase. For the Feedback phase, I asked the students to share their ideas with a partner. The partner that was listening was asked to give suggestions, ask questions and say what they liked about the designs.

This took between 5-7 minutes to complete. This phase however, is essential, as it gives students a chance to talk about their ideas and to identify any issues that they might not have considered. Often this is when a partner will point out that you are missing an element, or explain that they don’t understand your design. This prompts the designer to look at their work more critically, and consider ways to improve it.

As always, you will get students who do a ‘one and done’. They make one design, and don’t see the point of making any more because “this is the design I am going to build”. I have often found that those students may not have actually thought out all of the elements of the design. When they are asked to create two more designs, they frequently struggle to, but eventually do, come up with more ideas. Then, when they go through the Feedback phase, they are able to recognize that their first idea may have needed development to become an idea that met the requirements.

Stay tuned for part 5/6

Developing a Design Program in an Elementary School – Part 3

The 2nd lesson for the “Empathize” stage, for both Grade Four and Grade Five, included taking the time to stop and find out some of the answers to the questions that we had asked last week.

For one Grade Four class, who decided to create an indoor recess solution for Grade Three, that meant that they needed to figure out what they were going to ask Grade Three students, and their teachers, so that they got answers that would help them with their design. We talked about how we could talk to Grade Three and they decided that they wanted to interview the teachers and students. After deciding that, we took some time to think about what questions they were going to ask those students.

In Grade Five I condensed the list of questions that we had collected from all five sections into a slide deck of the most critical questions to ascertain a safe habitat. I then asked each class to work in pairs to find out some of the answers. As is typical with Grade Five students, I had to remind them that Google was not going to give them the answer they were looking for without a bit of work on their part. They would need to read, and sometimes interpret what they were discovering.. I also collected books from the library about the Moon and the International Space Station (ISS). I reminded them that while the Space Station would be similar to living on the Moon, it would not be the same. However, some of the same systems used on the ISS would be very, very similar to systems used on the Moon.

The thing that has impressed me most about this group of Fourth and Fifth Graders, is the way that they are connecting to the project and engaging in the activities. A few are so keen that they have already asked when they are going to begin building. However, when I explain that we have steps to complete before building, I always discuss with them the “Whys” around these steps. Why we learn things about what problem we are solving, and why we take the time to do each step.

Here is one example that I used:

Imagine that Mr. Delman (our Director) comes into the class while you are building and he says, “What is this?” pointing to a part of your design.

You respond with, “I don’t know, I just put it there.”

Do you think he is going to be very happy with that answer? (Students respond with “No!”.)

What if you were able to say something instead like, “Oh, that is my oxygen recycling system, so that when my astronaut comes into the habitat, they can take their space suit off and put their pajamas on and relax and watch TV.”

This is the point where I could see virtual light bulbs coming on and students realizing why a teacher was asking them to do something. They understood that it wasn’t just a “fun” activity, but a project with a purpose and a “why” attached.

Stay tuned for part 4/6

Developing a Design Program in an Elementary School – Part 2

Image of the design cycle over a picture of a shark. Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test.

Once the room was complete enough for us to film our Orientation video, we began looking for ways to bring students into the space. I work on a team of three ES LIT specialists at the Carol Morgan School. The first two grades that will be using the Design Studio are Grades Four and Five. Since Design, Design Thinking and Making, are all new to the Elementary School, we are taking a guided approach to working through projects.

In each LIT class this week, I introduced the design project to the students, giving them a brief overview that we would be designing something, and using the LIT Studio. I also emphasized that, because we were learning how to use the Design Cycle, we would go step-by-step. I did warn them that it is not a linear cycle and that we would be jumping around as the project progressed.

My first class was a Grade Five class. Their project prompt was, “How can you design a safe habitat for an astronaut to live on the moon?” The class was super excited, just from hearing the prompt, because they would be doing something related to space. I began by introducing the Empathize Phase.

I introduce this to students with this statement: “The Empathize Phase is where we try to figure out all of the things we know, don’t know and need to learn to solve our problem.” This leads to us asking tons and tons of questions. In this Grade Five class, we spent the entire first lesson throwing questions around and trying to figure out all of the things that we didn’t know. This led to us only getting about half of the way through my plan for that lesson!

My second class was a Grade Four class. Their project prompt was: “How can we make a fun place for indoor recess?” The students were very excited and almost immediately they decided that they wanted to design a space for Grade Three, rather than themselves. This led to them realizing that they knew a little about Grade Three, since they were there last year. However, they also recognized that there was at least one new teacher that they didn’t know. That led to a whole list of questions around how they would need to find out what Grade Three students like, and about the Grade Three teacher’s personalities. Additionally, they reasoned that they shouldn’t design something loud and noisy for a teacher who likes calm and quiet.

I have since introduced this project to two more Grade Four classes and three more Grade Five classes. So far, I’m seeing that this will be an interesting project for the students. I hope that their enthusiasm means that I chose a good prompt for them.

Our next step will be to start figuring out how we can answer some of our questions.

Stay tuned for part 3/6

Developing a Design Program in an Elementary School – Part 1

Due to world circumstances, I found myself heading to a new school in August, with the knowledge that they were looking to develop an elementary design studio similar to the one that I had developed at my school in Moscow. (Which I realize I never blogged about, oops!) Using the experience I developed in Moscow, and a life spent growing up on a farm in Mississippi, I set about building a space in Santo Domingo at the Carol Morgan School.

My starting point at both schools has been, “How do I make a safe place for students to design and build?” Growing up the way that I did, using real tools and real equipment, I fully understood that being safe around them was purposeful and needed to be considered. During our development process in Moscow, we visited the American School of Warsaw and spoke with the MS Design Teacher, Adam Campbell, and the elementary Coaching team, Mike Nanato and Caroline Killilea. Two of the takeaways from the conversations with them were, “If we do teacher training and an accident happens, then it is just that, an accident?” and “If we do not do teacher training and an accident happens, then it is neglect because we did not do our job in helping everyone to understand safety?”

These questions stuck with me while I was building the design spaces in Moscow and the Dominican Republic, and I have ensured that safety systems have been set up in the rooms from the beginning. I purchased equipment and furniture that helps to facilitate safe learning, and I create systems for safety within that space.

The journey at Carol Morgan began with two empty rooms. Our team decided that we were going to put a green room and robotics room together in one room, and a “dirty” design space in the other. Once that had been decided, we chose which room would best suit which purpose; the green room being the one with the fewest windows. After the rooms were decided, we agreed on the name LIT Studio. LIT at Carol Morgan stands for “Learning, Innovation and Technology” and studio comes from the fact that studios are places where you go to create.

Once the rooms were chosen I went on a hunt around the school for furniture to put into our space, it was clear that I still needed a lot more furniture. My next step was to see what was available for sale locally. It turns out that many of those types of things are custom built in the DR and not something that you can go to a ‘Home Depot’ like store to buy. I also discovered that we have a school carpenter. So my next job was going around the school and seeing if I could find tables and other pieces that I could use as my base design. Now you may be asking yourself “Cary, international schools have budgets for furniture. Why aren’t you just buying what you need?” Well, my theory is that if you put nice pretty new furniture in a space where kids are going to be hammering and sawing, you will get teachers who want to “protect” the nice new furniture. If you put beat up old furniture in there then teachers relax about the furniture and just work on it.

The good news is I managed to get a few pieces of furniture created for our space. The piece in the center is a typical elementary school (ES) cubby shelf flipped on its back with added legs. This is for our random collection of items to build with. The four tables that look alike, were made based on the tables I found in the High School ceramics room. It took a second try to get them the correct height for ES but they are now exactly what we will need. They are on casters, and time will tell if that works best or not.

LIT Studio during the development

While working on the physical layout, I was also working on developing the safety policies and procedures. The starting point for that was the color coding system for tools that we use in the space. This system was based on the system that the Pre-Kindergarten teachers in Moscow had already developed. I adapted it and added some additional elements. This system allows students to understand independently which tools they can use with, or without, supervision. There are very few “adult only” things in our LIT Studio. This poster is in multiple locations around the studio and every tool has a dot on it. I have found that paint markers work the best for this.

To be continued in Part 2 coming soon!

Women Who Lead -Emerging Skills for Leaders

Overall I think that most of the skills that were mentioned were good leadership skills in general, but sometimes it is the way someone phrases a message that resonates with you so I think it is always good to hear leadership share these skills even if the basis of the skill is something you already know. Sometimes that one explanation or example hits home and makes you say “Oh wow! Finally I get it!”

Suzanna Jemsby: “Don’t show up to a meeting with a notebook or they will think you’re there to be the secretary.” While I love that Suzanna was able to joke and laugh about it, but it could have been devastating to someone who did not have the same level of confidence in their position. I personally would have had a very similar response to Suzanna’s but I know people who could have been devastated by that interaction especially if it was their first meeting as a Head of School. 

Daniela Silva: Courage, Resilience and Emotional Intelligence. I was struck by the fact that Daniela’s video mentions “hostile environment” as if it is the norm for all women leaders. This should not be the norm for any leader, women or otherwise but why is it still the case? I guess that is part of the reason for this course. I imagine that “women” could be swapped with people of color, LGTBQ+ or any other non “white male” grouping. 

While thinking on this more I realize, that I needed all three when I started my current role, because through no fault of my own, the team I joined had some negative experiences with new teachers. I realize now looking back, that I used resilience to continue to engage them even when they seemed hostile to my questions. I used emotional intelligence to frame my questions so that they were not questions that created defensive reactions.  Because of this I developed a strong bond with that team which resulted in some very effective collaborations. 

Nneka Johnson: “We need to be okay with change.”  I 100% agree with this. I also think that this may be a skill that I excel at. Change is not something that scares me, in fact, most times it excites me. I have to be careful not to change too much too fast, because for me that is great, but for others it is not. I am able to use my agility in thinking to think of possibilities that may be available and then determine which would be the least disruptive change or if needed the most disruptive (and effective) change. 

Bridget McNamer: Use your voice. I don’t think that this has ever been a major issue for me. (There are some people reading this falling off their chairs laughing at that statement!) My biggest issue with my “voice” has been knowing how best to use it, when to use it, and when to listen. I have been trying to work on these since I began working in more leadership roles. I have learned more about myself and how to make sure that I do these things. 

One of the ways that I have found to help myself listen is to volunteer to be the notetaker in a meeting. By taking notes I have to concentrate on what is being said so that I can document it. This keeps my brain from wandering but also means that I generally let everyone talk before I do and I often find that the idea that popped into my head has already been mentioned by the time everyone gets a chance to talk. This technique has helped me be a better listener. 

It also gives me a chance to ask targeted questions for clarity as I have to understand what is being discussed in order to document it. So this often means that I have to ask questions to have the person presenting an idea clarify what they are meaning.

Women Who Lead – Finding Focus and Priorities as a Busy Leader

What resonated with me about the videos that I watched was that all of the leaders had some way to manage tasks, be that writing things down, electronic lists, etc. I have been doing this since 2005 though not to the extent that I do it now. I now have a notebook that I carry with me where I write down tasks to do or items to remember. I find that the more hectic life gets, the more important that notebook becomes. If things are calm and under control I don’t find myself writing things down in the notebook the way I will if things are crazy busy.  I also use that notebook as a place to write up notes from meetings, plan a system, or take notes during a PD. Basically if it happened in this school year it is in the notebook. 

I have tried multiple electronic options, even ones that allow for handwriting but I have found that paper and pen are what I want to use. There is something about putting it on paper that I can’t repeat electronically, I think it has to do with the way I remember things and my idiosyncrasies within my notes. They are not easily transferred to electronic options and trying to invent new ones does not cement the info. 

Suzanna Jemsby: What does it cost to run a meeting? (like financially looking at how much money you are paying the people to be in that meeting.) I thought that this was a very interesting way to look at having meetings. It is probably a very corporate way to look at them as well, but in all honesty many meetings in a school could be changed. The issue that I have had is when trying to give alternative options to an actual meeting (videos, slides with information, documentation), I find that even now after 1.5 years of Covid, some teachers do not follow through. So they come to meetings unprepared and derail them. It is hard to take a hard line when you need them to know the info in order to participate. This is something that I have not figured out a sweet spot for. 

Nneka Johnson: Listen to that inner voice and own it. This statement resonated with me because I have a very strong inner voice. What I struggle with is when my inner voice tells me something and I can’t get others to see what I see or the impact that I can clearly see if a decision is made a certain way. I guess all I can do is express my voice and then live with the decision. 

Charlotte Diller: Make sure the goals are simple enough that you can continue to refer to them.  Write it down to get it out of your brain. Both of these statements resonated with me, the “write it down” because I often tell people if it isn’t in the calendar or in my book then it doesn’t exist. 

When talking about goals I liked the idea that they are simple enough to refer to them. I think we often get wrapped up in word smithing and miss what the point of the goal is. That being said, my inner voice has clear opinions on what something means that do not always match other people’s idea of what something means!

Bridget McNamer: It’s either a “Hell yes” or no. You should default to no. This is definitely something that I have been trying to work on. Saying no or at least saying not right now. This is a struggle point for me because I am a ‘yes’ person. I have been working on it, but I like the lens Bridget gives with the “Hell, yes”. This is definitely something to percolate on 

Jennie Magiera: Do what tasks/emails/jobs that others are depending on you completing first then do the other tasks later. Also, asking if something can wait. I think this is just key to keeping from getting bogged down. Do things in an order that works best within the entire ecosystem. This being said, it is easy then to put things that you don’t want to do off because other people aren’t depending on that task. Doesn’t mean it isn’t important just because others aren’t dependent on it. But, again that is what this whole thing is about finding the balance. 

Women Who Lead: Finding a Sense of Balance

Balance, oh balance! Listening to Kim intro this video I was struck by the feeling that I have had all year when people talk about work life balance. As a person who has a strong inter-voice and who is constantly thinking, I have always thought when people said this, yeah I am okay. I know I work too much and I do things on the weekend and evenings but that is because I want it done and finished so that I can let it go. Well, this summer I had no choice on the “do less work” because my parent’s internet in Mississippi is HORRENDOUS.

So, you may think this is leading up to me saying it was wonderful and I want more time like that. Well, Yeah I don’t! I spent most of the summer downtime going hmm if the internet was better I would catch up on the WWL videos or I could get started on … I completely 100% tried to make myself not do things. While I loved spending time with my family and getting outside with animals and demoing a porch, I do not feel any different about my down time. I still feel that I had too much and most of it was unnecessary and that I could have been so much more productive in anything. 

I think a lot of this comes from my completely unofficially diagnosed ADHD. (those who know me personally, stop laughing!) I don’t even ‘do’ down time when I have down time. If you ever watch me when I am at home on the couch I usually have 2-4 things going at the same time, be them physical or digital. I have a friend who has come over before between activities and tried to take a nap on the other half of my couch only to give up after 5 min because I am constantly wiggling around or getting up!

So I guess my point is that you have to find what the word means to you. I 100% have been doing less work this year and most of last year because I had help. The elementary school was fully staffed and so I was not the only one doing two people’s jobs. That being said, I do prefer to stay at a reasonable level of busy!

Suzanna Jemsby: Set your boundaries and be disciplined about it. I liked this statement from Suzanna because I think it lets your team know what to expect without questioning the whys. She mentioned that she has told them that if she has to stay at school late one day to expect her late the next morning. This clearly gives her team the understanding of why she has this behavior and it also gives them the example to ask for time when and if they need it. If you never see leadership do anything but work non-stop then you might think that is the expectation. 

I think that as leaders even if we don’t need to take time, sometimes we should so that others see it and understand that it is okay to ask for time when it is needed. 

Charlotte Diller: “For me to have balance, I actually need to schedule it.” Yes, Yes, Yes. This is something that I find that I have to do. If it isn’t in my calendar it doesn’t exist! That is what I tell people.

“Leadership and everything just fill the space. I have had to try to contain the space.” This is why I struggle when I don’t use a calendar. There is always something that “fills the space”, a teacher with a tech issue in their room, an iPad that needs to be run to the tech team who then asks some question that leads to a 15 minute discussion, a quick trip to the ES Office leads to answering 5 questions the secretaries had about Google, and on and on. 

To the point where as a team if we need to have team time to develop a system or plan for tech, we have to book 1-2 hours in our calendars in order to sit down for 30 min of that time and actually have a discussion and think things out. 

This is actually something that I thought a lot about when working on The Coach because Kim was talking about how she schedules her time and she has things planned out months in advance, like that recording we did (March 2021) will come out on September 15, 2021. I was like what! Then she went on and said well I won’t edit it until May 31st. Like the structure it takes to plan time like this is something that speaks to me, but I never thought about laying it out that far in advance. 

I have totally, in October, booked an hour or two in my calendar in March to talk about our end of the year tech plan, but never that detailed or as far in advance as Kim works. 

Bridget McNamer: Ask for help. Yes totally. I have been very lucky to have an ES leadership team that helped me when I was the only Tech Integrator. Even though they were regularly asking if I needed help I had to accept that help was something that I needed and taking the time to teach help how to do stuff and not trying to do it all because it was “faster” would pay off in the end! This is something that I have learned as I have had actual team members the time I give over to making sure that they are caught up and understand the system is totally worth it. Also that me just doing it does not allow them to learn how it is done so they are constantly using the system without fully understanding it.

Women Who Lead: Interviewing for a Leadership Position

What are your essential qualities in a school?

  • A culture of growth
  • A culture of collaboration
  • A culture of transparency around fundamental school plans and changes
  • A culture of forward planning and preparedness
  • A culture of openness to change
  • A leadership team who are willing to consider and embrace change 

Draft 10 reasons you’re the perfect person for the job you’re currently seeking.

  • I adapt to change efficiently, and am able to formulate plans with which to facilitate that change. 
  • I stay alert for what is coming, and plan for possible outcomes.
  • I listen to teachers and have a proven record of being able to interpret their needs. 
  • I can tailor my plans to the current environment in the school 
  • I think in a systematic way, but can also be flexible in my execution
  • I understand that empathizing (Design Cycle) is one of the most important parts of change.  
  • I can identify the areas in which I need to grow, and seek out professional development that will allow me to succeed in those areas. 
  • I have experience assisting others in identifying and recognizing the reasons that change would be advantageous. 
  • I can help teachers to identify their own potential areas of growth, and am able to coach them to achieve those goals.
  • I can speak and understand the ‘language’ of leadership, teaching staff, support staff, and technical staff because of my experience across all areas.

Bridget McNamer: When asked about how to answer a question like “How did you get where you are today?” Have a headline in mind, save the story about how it happened for after or if you are asked. This is something that I definitely need to have in my notes when interviewing. I tend to launch into the story then get distracted and forget where I was going! So I will try this technique this year as I think it will help me a lot to think about it this way. 

Bridget made another point about talking about things that you don’t have personal experience with. She stated that while you may not have experience you probably have an opinion about it. Share a point of view about the topic. Share how you might approach it even if it isn’t something that you haven’t experienced. Don’t say “I haven’t done this”, but instead say “I think … and I would approach it in … way.” This gives the interviewer a chance to see how you would approach it even if it is something you don’t have direct experience with. 

Nneka Johnson – “Be yourself and be honest. Speak about the things that you have done with fidelity.” I love these because this is so me. I am crap at faking things anyway, what you see is what you get so being honest and painfully so is pretty much the way I roll! 

Anita Chen– “You are also interviewing the school.” I liked this quote because I think many times we don’t ask enough questions or do enough research before going to an interview.  I also liked this question that she suggested, “what is the current difficulty or challenge”. This can tell you loads about how the leadership is in tune with the department that you are joining as well as how realistic they are in their expectations for the role. 

Carla Marschall– Carla suggested making sure to think about and talk about how you think about things at an organizational level. How do you work with students and teachers at an organizational level? These are things that are different from a teacher interview. After listening to this I realized that this was something that I accidentally covered in my interview for my current job but now that I think back I could be much more purposeful in how I mentioned these things.

Women Who Lead – Exploring the Unique Challenges Women Face in Pursuing a Leadership Position

This! this: “Research shows that women won’t apply for a position until they can “tick all the boxes” in the job description, whereas men will apply when they meet only a few.” I actually had a conversation about this on my way to Hong Kong a few years ago. There was a group of us going to see design/maker spaces in Hong Kong and we were all sitting around waiting for our flight. The topic of next jobs came up and I made a comment like I want to look at being a Tech Director, but not at a school the size of the one I am in because it is too big and I don’t think I am ready for that. The HS Math teacher who was going for the conference as well looked straight at me and said “You know men don’t think like that.” I was so stunned I just stared at her and said “Huh?, What do you mean?”. She proceeded to explain that, in general, men will apply for a job because they are interested even if they can’t “tick all of the boxes”. Exactly what Kim was talking about in the intro video.

I still struggle to wrap my head around the possibility of applying for a job that I am not yet “qualified” for. That being said I am definitely more confident to say what I can bring to a school and what I am willing to learn to meet the demands of any role that I apply for. The reality is that no two international teaching jobs are alike. You never, even as a classroom teacher, move schools without a massive learning curve. So of course I am going to learn new things and need to figure out new things to do any job I move to.

As I job hunt this year one of my goals for myself it to be brave about my choices and go for places I want and jobs I want. I have proven over and over that I can grow into the job quickly and effectively. I don’t need to worry about ticking all of the boxes.

Notes from the videos for this unit.

Daniela Silva:
“I believe that it is a real challenge to see women in leadership in international schools, but what is worse is to see a woman in technology or innovation leadership position.” I completely feel this statement. When I was at Learning 2 in Warsaw in 2017 one of the things that I noticed was that there were a few more women in tech positions that’s the last ECIS conference I had attended in Nice. I also realized that I was one of those ‘women in tech’ like that I was not just a tech person but a woman in tech. I don’t think it had occurred to me before then that there was a significance there. Like it was just my job, not something that might be making an impact in the way tech roles were viewed.

Nneka Johnson :
When Nneka shared her feelings on imposter syndrome many of her statements hit home completely. When she talked about stuttering when someone calls her an expert. I can completely relate to that. I feel the same way when people praise me for things that I feel are “just doing my job”. I think for me this comes from a place of I know I did the best I could and I don’t feel like I need outside praise for completing something that I should be doing because it is my job. Some of this for me comes from being a self-assured person who knows when I have done a good or bad job at something. I also find that there are times that for me something is very low effort but seems to others like a huge accomplishment and I do not like when people give praise for doing it. I think because I feel inside like it is easy and anyone should be able to achieve it.

“I revel in integrity” this was another comment that she made that stuck a cord with me. I feel that I do my work with integrity so I think this is part of why I don’t feel like I need praise. I am okay with a thank you but more and I am like ‘yeah I know I did it well, you don’t need to make a big deal about it’. All In my head of course!

Charlotte Diller:
“We’re not thinking about it.” I think this is a powerful statement and I think that it is important that we acknowledge this and strive to think about it. This is one of the things that I feel that the Black Lives Matter movement is aiming to elevate, getting people to think about diversity and looking for places where it is missing and work towards trying to make diversity something that is always thought about