Day 9: What the Ruckus?

A few days ago we were told that the first hour and a half of our day would be taken over by a presenter to discuss “Being the Change.” Apparently it’s a program that is supposed to help students identify and cope with bullying and the like. Us being us, we did ask about the purpose and timing of the program and if we could build some of the ideas into our work to not have two mornings hijacked from us. We were summarily denied.

“No, you guys don’t want to be considered special yet you are asking for special treatment.”


And here I thought we were inquiring about the purpose of the training and if we could integrate it into our students’ days in a way that will stick, endure, and impact.

Silly me.

So, here’s a picture from Day 2. Our students are circled around Stacy, the “Be the Change” presenter:


Our freshmen were polite, attentive, responsive, and inquisitive. I was proud of them – Stacy told us that they were a wonderful group and that they great to work with. Great feedback for sure…


We had to give up two mornings…

We’re a program in its infancy. We have are establishing culture and advisement procedures. To lose two mornings like this was not easy. We zigged and zagged to minimize momentum loss, but it was tough as both days were perceivably altered by the changed starts to the days.


Note: The above image was taken just moments before a Dean rushed in and told us that a small band of Mosaic students was causing some sort of ruckus in the Commons area. I won’t go into details, but suffice to say, the ruckus/event/foot pursuit exposed some weaknesses in our structure (I think caused by the intrusion of the presentation) along with an hyper response by security and administration. (I’m glad they don’t have tasers.)


Once we sorted out the details, issued apologies, and debriefed and discussed what happened and what was learned with our students, we worked to get back into a flow. Students were continuing to progress with their Hackathon projects (they’re due to present and share their work next Friday) and were working on a small project that asked them to create a short video:

Create a less than 2-minute, silent, shareable video that communicates a scientific idea or principle to an audience of high school students.

The conversations and questions that I overheard and participated in were mind-blowing. Walk through a room and you were bound to hear about gravity, relativity, vectors, weather, video edits, SOH CAH TOA, electromagnetism, stars, hammock building, and music. I also heard laughter, passionate “What ifs?” and the occasional power tool.


The day ended with science seminars taking place in our lab space. They were about Size, Relativity, and Measurement. My colleague and I facilitated the sessions – they seemed to make some connections and we certainly gathered feedback on how seminars like these can be improved, scheduled, and communicated. (More on that later…)

Oh, and the day ended with this email from a colleague:

Hi Ryan,
Today during fourth hour a student of mine asked to go to the bathroom. They were gone 20 plus minutes.  I was frustrated and almost revoked the student’s bathroom privileges. He mentioned that was stopped in the hall by a group of Mosaic students and a Mosaic teacher and asked to film things for them. He then showed me the video he made for them.  He may be telling me stories, he might have already been messing around and I know it is hard to tell who has an off period and who does not. I am certainly not implying anything bad about Mosaic kids or teachers. I just thought that I would ask that if students are in the hall that they are asked if they are in a class at that time before they are asked to engage with Mosaic projects. I would be happy to work with Mosaic in the future but I would like arrangements to be made in advance.

What the message lacks in detail it makes up in Mosaic mentions (count ’em). I’m working on a formal response that builds on my current working draft:




#BeTheChange #SkateorDie #MosaicSwatTeamResponse #Whatexactlyisanatom #SilentVideo #BodyLanguage #InstitutionalControlTrumpsMessyLearning #Size #squarepegroundhole