This week we officially kicked off the program by starting off our training sessions with Girls Inc. while continuing with our recruitment for Eureka members. On Monday we got to meet the Girls Inc. staff for the first time, and it was wonderful getting to know everyone through the check-in questions and icebreakers. We participated in a game similar to MTV Cribs in which we showed our coworkers around our workspaces, desktop wallpapers or phone screens. It was a great way of getting to know each other and bringing us closer together even though we are not physically working together in the same space.
On Tuesday, we continued with the training by introducing the concepts of FaciliSTARS and ELC. It was such a meaningful concept in the fact that while we often think of ourselves as mentors to the girls, teachers almost, the purpose will be better served if we take on our roles as “facilitators” rather than merely “lecturers.” The way that fecilitation is meant to be engaging, collaborative and interactive enlightened me. We also talked about designing mutually agreed “classroom rules” together, so that our girls could have input and make their voices heard. ELC stands for exponential learning curve, which is the process where we pose questions to the girls in order to enhance their learning, and ask questions beyond the material that we are covering.
On Wednesday, we continued with mandated reporting training, which I really appreciate the fact that we were given the space and opportunity to be vulnerable, reflect together as a group and discuss important topics that are usually rough to discuss. We learned about the formal legal definition of mandated reporting, and signs with which we could discern signs of sexual harassment, abuse or neglect. Then we also talked about how we could adjust the procedure in regards to virtual learning, and guide the conversation in a thoughtful and supportive way.
On Friday we had our first 1619 Consulting workshop and I really appreciate this open space for genuine discussions, enabling us to systematically learn about racism and the ways that we could actively fight against it. I deeply appreciate everyone being supportive and open to discuss topics that are not always comfortable but truthfully meaningful. In our first group discussion, we talked about the obstacles facing women in STEM, and I really appreciate everyone’s supportiveness, being open to listening to other groupmates’ personal stories, and willingness to share their own stories. I look forward to starting to design the lesson plans with my teammate Aspen next week, and meeting our students in very near future.