Portland Love

Almost two weeks ago, I spent five days in Portland, Oregon at my favorite conference.  The conference was A-MA-ZING and I feel refueled in the biggest way.  I hadn't been to Portland in many years.  Have you been there?  That city is pretty awesome.  I would rank it in my top three US cities - Portland, Denver and San Francisco.  You can tell I have a thing for western cities that are eclectic.  I asked some locals if living in Portland is ever too inspiring because of how thoughtfully crafted each shop, restaurant, and space felt to me.  They looked at me and laughed, no.


Here are the highlights from my trip and conference including a new way to know if you are stepping into stereotyping.....

  • I led a workshop on Dr. Carol Dweck's work on mindset mixed with coaching strategies from my coach training.  Though I've done this workshop many, many times before.  This AEE group is so ready that the information landed in the best way possible.  I have never had so many people contact me during the conference to talk about the workshop or after the conference ended.  The information and take-aways evidently are still resonating with a lot of different people from all over the world, which is totally exciting and speaks to the importance of Dweck's work and co-active coaching.  I'm putting this one in the win column, for sure.
  • Speaking of win, I felt like I won the lottery when a participant, Marli, in the workshop I led gave me that You are awesome wooden nickel above.  Besides being so touched, I immediately wanted 1,000 wooden nickels to inject into the world.  Who is with me?  
  • You are with me?  I'm thinking about ordering wooden nickels that you can order, I ship and we all shower the world in what people deserve - a true compliment about how awesome they are!  Wouldn't it be fun to give out the nickels to your favorite educators?  Nurses?  Neighbors?  Kids?  The lovely guy at Trader Joe's who scores you more pumpkin-flavored coffee?  Yes!  We need nickels and lots of them.
  • Portland is such a delicious town - I'm talking tantalizing restaurants.  My favorites that I am still dreaming about included: Cheese and Crack, Stumptown Coffee, Pok Pok,  Tasty n Sons, Pine State Biscuits, Olympic Provisions, and Salt & Straw.  Seriously, none of these will let you down when you visit PDX.  Being at home now - where the food isn't super tantalizing - is a bit of a tummy/taste bud let down, I got to be honest.
  • The theme of the conference was social justice.  Not every single workshop aligned with that theme, but all of the main speakers did.  At the keynote with Caprice Hollins, she shared an interesting and super easy way to detect if you are stereotyping (and at risk of discriminating or being prejudice).  Ready to learn it?   It's easy like I said.  When you are in a situation and are surprised (I'll share an example in a moment), be watchful - stereotyping is lurking.  
For example, I am often surprised when I go see a medical doctor (who is a specialist) when they are either 1) a woman or 2) younger than me!  Yep.  When that doctor walks into the examination room and they are either female and/or younger than me, I have a split second of "wow, they are a woman!" or "wow, they look like they are 20 years old."  That's the moment where we need to be aware - stereotypes are present in our mind (whether we thought they existed or not).  It is how we use that surprise information to proceed that makes all the difference.

If I thought, "Oh, no...this doctor can't be capable (because of their gender or age)," then that would be the discrimination/prejudice part.  See?  Caprice encouraged us to use surprise as a way of noticing bias that may unconsciously exist in our minds.

What surprise moments have you noticed?  Come on....I shared mine.  I'd love to hear what catches you off guard.  Awareness is always a great step one to combating prejudice and social injustice.

Jen


5 comments:

  1. Let's shower the world with Wooden Nickels - I love it!

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  3. omg I love those wooden nickels! it reminds me of the the clothes pins with the happy thoughts written on them that you did with us in one of your classes!

    I will admit one of my moments of stereotyping: I walked into my first period co-taught bio class on the first day of school....7 of the 15 students (15 students, 13 of which are boys)in that class are latino boys. My first thought was that they must all be ELLs so that is why they are all in this one co-taught class together. Only 2 of them are on that list, though, and those two have no problems with speaking the language-it is more grammar. I love that class and have more fun with those kids then any of the others! I thought a class full of boys first thing in the morning was going to kill me, but it turns out it is a great way to start the day!

    By the way, I am currently in Orlando at a WIDA conference (it is amazing) and thought of you....we were discussing ELLs and I remembered how you stressed "quality and quantity" and then the presenter was talking about the affective filter.....always relevant, fond memories of your classes! Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. So lovely to hear from you, Kim! Enjoy WIDA. I have not been to that conference before. I love that you shared your "surprise" moment. I've been noticing my surprises lately and it is a bit eye-opening for me. I think of those clothespins we made all the time. Maybe that will be a project for me in 2016! I am just about to launch an ebook with a friend - all about teaching strategies - and we are selling wooden nickels to go with the book. Yay! We need more reminders of awesome in the world. Safe journeys back home - Sure, miss you. Jen

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