Collab Lab 55: Recap & Notes

How does mental health manifest itself in k12education? How is it compromised and what are the levers we may use to positively impact the learning culture for our students (and teachers etc.)

May is Mental Health Month.

It felt appropriate to continue the work our #CollabLab54 attendees had begun with a follow up conversation. So last Thursday, we hosted Collab Lab 55 to create a safe space for conversations about the factors that influences mental health negatively/positively for students, teachers and others, such as trust, empathy in education, difficult conversations etc..

Building on our first conversation in April, we gave our attendees a first draft of a model map of factors we collected together. Attendees at each table reviewed this map for accuracy and completeness using their particular perspective. They could focus on a specific area, review it as a particular stakeholder, etc. This was truly a ‘kitchen table conversation’ where people from different backgrounds, ages and experiences engaged in open dialog about what they experience every day. Together we identified how many of these factors are connected (but differently for teachers and students) and what we might do to break through the negative cycle many are experiencing.

You can find our updated mapping here

Where might this lead?
– Over the coming months, we’d like to see additional conversations taking place with people representing all stakeholders at the table
– We’re going to make our STEM Studio time available over the summer for teachers (and students) to participate in a student project design lab.
– we’d like see a project develop to add stories from students, teachers, parents to the map as illustrations of when culture ‘works’ to affirm students and build a positive culture of respect and collaboration in learning.

There are many more opportunities that present themselves from having a comprehensive mapping like this. We’ll be exploring those over the coming months. Curious about the map that’s is under development? Have an idea you’d like to explore to address youth mental health in education?

Since this was our final official Collab Lab of the 2022-23 school year, We want to thank Milwaukee School of Engineering for offering the use of the STEM Center this year (and again in the coming school year!), as well as Northwestern Mutual for sponsoring ‘our lab room’ in the STEM Center.

The Collab Lab formula keeps getting better every season. We’re grateful for all of our attendees who came out for one of the Thursday evening sessions. We look forward to seeing many of you again next season and can’t wait to hear what cool learning you are offering your students as a result of the conversations you’ve had.

Have a great summer!

2023-24 Collab Labs

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