The Backstory

Three years ago, Citizens of the World Charter School (CWCS) redesigned our middle school model and launched Roots, a daily space for students to develop critical skills of self-knowledge, self-direction, and collaboration. Earlier this year, our design team prepared to launch the Roots Cohort, a year-long learning fellowship for a cohort of schools who wanted to build their educators’ capacity to facilitate powerful self reflection & collaboration spaces for students. However, in the wake of the COVID crisis, we realized that there was an immediate need and opportunity to build educators’ skills in this arena by helping them to make meaning & respond intentionally to the changes they were experiencing as a result of the global pandemic. This led our design team to pivot away from launching the year-long Roots Fellowship in 2020 and to instead invest in creating a mini Fellowship for educators centered on developing tools, lenses, & language to navigate change & transition: The Navigating Change Learning Series (NCLS).

We Believe

At CWCS, we believe that “Self care is community care.” We acknowledge that, in the wake of COVID-19, educators & educational leaders are experiencing & navigating change for themselves & for their families, even as they are being called on to support students, parents, & other members of their school community. In order to lead intentionally, mindfully, & inclusively through the massive changes we are facing as a global and educational community, we know that educators first need space & tools to metabolize their own experiences of change. And we believe that the work of educator well being is not ancillary to their classroom responsibilities but central to their ability to be emotionally & psychologically present for their students & school community.

What We Did

Thus, we designed the NCLS to provide educators & educational leaders with dedicated space, time, and community to reflect on & make meaning of the enormous changes they were experiencing in their work & world, along with tools & strategies to navigate those changes with greater self awareness & intentionality. We ran the learning series three times - twice within the CWCS network and once with diverse educators across the country. After experiencing the NCLS themselves, we invited educators to participate in a “deconstruction day” where we broke apart how we designed & facilitated the learning series of which they were a part and help them distill lessons, learnings, & best practices they could apply in their classrooms & schools to support others in processing the changes they’ve experienced. In this resource guide, we are compiling the various tools & resources we’ve created & collated so that they can be used & adapted by a broader community of educators & educational leaders to support school communities in navigating change.