An open collaborative of educators

Beginning with a Road Trip

My first hours on the job as Director of Social Innovation at Sequoyah School were spent in the car on the way to Ojai, CA with our high school director, head of school, and student support coordinator. We were headed to the 2017 Capstone Consortium at Thacher School.

I spent my time at the Summit in a sponge-like state. I soaked up questions and answers, not yet even having created a summer prep to-do list for myself, let alone knowing what I’d be doing during the school year with our students in our Local Issues and Impact Project capstone curricula. I envied the schools with established programs and lessons from successes and failures. While I left with just as many questions as I came in with, the questions I returned to campus with were refined. I left feeling excited and nervous.

Now, with two years of directing the Social Innovation Program under my belt, I’ve experienced the other side of the coin at the 2019 Boston Summit. Getting to know colleagues from other schools who are launching programs in August reminds me that everyone starts somewhere and we all have somewhere to go. I’ve been honored to share the lessons I’ve learned over the past two years, and equally grateful to continue learning from others. The spirit of sharing and in-it-togetherness is heart warming and invigorating.

Of the lessons I’m taking away this year, two stand out:

The stories students see in the world are informed by their own stories, and that we need to continually support students in being able to know and articulate their own stories.

Students shape capstone work, but more importantly, capstones should shape students.

Until next time!

RJ Sakai, Sequoyah School, CA

The views of each blog post are the experiences of the individual instructor and school and do not represent the views of the National Capstone Consortium.