What’s Your Space Jam?

In one of my last posts about re-designing the Director’s Student Voice Forum blog theme this year I referred to it as my “Space Jam”. In fact, ever since I watched the video “A Pep Talk from Kid President to You”, and he asked me “What will be your Space Jam?” I immediately thought of the Forums. I have put heart and soul into student voice initiatives in HWDSB and the Director’s Student Voice Forum blog is the central repository of all the voices and various mediums. I won’t talk more about it here as I have definitely done that in other posts. Suffice it to say, however, that I truly consider the Director’s Student Voice Forums (and other student voice initiatives I have been the lead on) to be my crowning achievement to date as an educator. I certainly “took the road less traveled” in fulfilling my vision of students engaging and expressing themselves their way through whichever medium or tool they wished. And, yes, “…It hurt, Man!” But, it’s worth it! It’s what I created that makes the world awesome. It is my “Space Jam”!

I want to be on the one [road] that leads to Awesome! ~ Kid President

What’s your “Space Jam”?
Share in the Reply area below.

7 Comments

  1. Lisa Neale says:

    Couldn’t agree more with you, Aaron. I am on your team and and we’ve done lots together that has led to awesome and will continue to journey down the road of awesomeness. It is your enthusiasm, persistence, sweat, creativity and never ending dedication that allows us to capture student voice in so many meaningful ways. Voice and choice in ways that makes our students comfortable to express themselves in open ways.

    It most definitely is your Space Jam! I have often privately shared how proud I am of you and I am so happy to now comment here today. We are not done and never will be done. The road to awesome is never ending! Can’t wait to see where you / we go next!

    • Aaron Puley says:

      Thank you so much for commenting, Lisa. The work that we did at Ancaster Senior took the concept of the Director’s Student Voice Forum and brought it local to truly impact students and a school community. It was the work at ASPS and Ancaster High that has informed the continuation at Gatestone and the redefinition of Student Voice and Forums in the board as a result. Your passion and commitment to take the time with me and work with staff is truly awesome. Thank you for your support in both my work and my leadership preparation. I truly appreciate it!

  2. Adele says:

    My Space Jam? I’m not sure yet….I feel like I might be in the middle of a huge Jam, but not sure yet. Am I inspired? Motivated? Fired up? Heck ya! It’s a good time to be in education! I love that you’ve found your Space Jam :). Bet you’ll have some more too!

    • Aaron Puley says:

      It’s hard sometimes, isn’t it? Sometimes we don’t don’t know that we are creating our Space Jam until we reflect upon it later. I know that, for me, the concept of the Director’s Student Voice Forum was a vision and a dream. I believed in it. I set in place the conditions for it to work but, in that first year, had no idea if it would. I had confidence in myself and my skill set but I stood beside our director that first forum in 2011 with no real clue if it would work or not. I took a risk – a calculated, educated, prepared risk – but a risk nonetheless. The students I was working with had no relationship with me. They had no idea who I was. To stretch them beyond what they were accustomed may seem to be a stretch but it worked. IT WORKED! And, It worked every time since. I’m not sure I will ever be a part of anything so magical again but I’ll relish the moment if I do 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  3. D. Weir says:

    You’re definitely giving me an opportunity to really reflect on things in this regard.
    I always come back to students and whether what I have done, am doing or will do, has made, or will hopefully make, an impact resulting in change…whether that be a more positive outlook of themselves, their well being, their pathway plan, their learning, etc.
    I believe that the work we’re doing with voice, especiAlly in transitions…including having kids explore their possible futures in Career Cruising and building their IPP; giving them a chance to see where they want to go, how to get there, and be given a forum with which to begin asking those critical questions to assist in their own understanding of programs and who they want to become…have been so powerful for them…and for me…my Jam!

    • Aaron Puley says:

      I couldn’t agree more, Dave. I, too, look upon my impact on whether I have truly made a difference for students or if I have only been amusing myself. The goal is to impact students, their engagement, and their achievement. That has always been my focus and if I haven’t accomplished that I adjust, tweak, and revise to ensure that it does. Incorporating student voice and reflection in the IPP, and getting their head “in the game” of who they want to be will provide, I believe, that essential meta-cognitive, self-reflective, and intellectual engagement in their pathway that will ensure their academic and social success as well as enhancing their individual well-being (and that of others). Working with you on the Director’s Student Voice Forum this year has been tremendous. You’re leadership profound. You are stretching my thinking in new ways and helping me to think of how student voice can be integrated into the daily teaching and learning environments beyond ‘event-driven’ mindsets. I thank you for your passion!

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