Friday, October 19, 2012

Learning, Philosophizing, and Teaching

Rachel Hockenberry, horn player and member of the 4th class of the Sistema Fellows, is immersing herself in YOURS this week and is guest blogging, sharing her experiences below:

Today was filled with significant learning and inspiration.  The morning began with Sensei Oppenheimer schooling me on logic models.  For those unfamiliar, logic models contain the following information: what are the needs of the community your program will address; how will these needs be addressed; how are you going to measure if they have been addressed; and, what are the desired outcomes.  Though I’m not exactly sure where I’m headed after May 19th, 2013, so far all of my options will require logic models, and I am so grateful that now I at least kind of know what I’m doing with them.

Next, I attended a staff meeting with Tom and the rest of the Logan Square team.  This meeting was awesome; the whole team is pumped to move forward with the upcoming changes.  We also talked about the meaning of el sistema and social change.  While the Hibbard team had more to say about el sistema, the Logan Square team dug in to the meaning of social change.  Here are a few of the elements they associated with the concept:

-does not just affect the student, but also the student’s family
-achieving social goals with even one student can have a pervasive effect on the community
-increased sense of belonging
-individual and group accountability
-instilling the ability to strive for excellence

The Logan Square staff gets it.  This was no surprise to me.

After this extremely productive meeting, I rode along with Tom and teaching artists Aryole and AJ to Hibbard.  These three lovely people also granted me a short interview during the commute, concerning why they work for the YOURS Project.  While at Hibbard, I got to bounce around all day.  I took some interviews of the students (which I will post when I am able to edit them) before they enthusiastically enjoyed a performance by violinist Tessa Lark.  After filming a few rehearsals, I had the privilege of temporarily filling Katie’s shoes and teaching the REACH winds, which was so much fun.  Have I mentioned that teaching is my favorite thing to do?  Because it is.

And just like that, my YOURS experience comes to a close.  I’m composing this post on a Southwest flight to Dulles for a quick trip to Pennsylvania, then hopping back on a plane to Chicago tomorrow night, only to fly to LA several hours later.  Phew!  Expect a final blog post from me within the next few days of my wrap-ups and reflections.  Albert says I have become a YOURS evangelist, and I think he may be right.

-Rachel Hockenberry

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