My Journey – My Story
By RYAN BURKE
The small idea: At its core, this idea is about coming together in small groups tell stories. In specific, each person in a school community will be asked to create a journey with 7 touchpoints on it. A touchpoint could be a conversation with someone else, a moment, an experience, a meal, or really anything that is both specific and meaningful to the person.
The Prompt: Highlight touchpoints that are meaningful to you in some way. They may be where you learned something, cried, laughed, loved, or when a relationship strengthened or broke. The only rule is each touchpoint is important to the person telling it, and it must have happened between March 2020 and the present moment.
As students and teachers come back to school, this idea asks small groups of students and teachers to come together over the course of a full day. In this full-day, the morning will start with time, supplies, and snacks to prep for telling the story, and each person will create a journey map with the 7 points on their journey. After this is completed, students and teachers will each get 30 minutes to tell their stories. How they tell the story is up to them, but it must include all 7 touchpoints being highlighted, and if time is leftover in the 30 minutes, that time will be for questions from the group about the stories told. The day will be intermixed with breaks, snacks, and time to decompress. That’s it! This idea can be modified to fit different size groups or be done over longer periods of time or shorter periods of time. The power is in honoring the 7 touchpoints and hearing the stories.
The Big Idea: The bigger idea if for school communities to do this together all around the world or country on the same day or in the same month or at the beginning of the year, and then capture the touchpoints online in a huge online visual map. People would have the option to upload their seven touchpoints, and then build a massive visual artifact that captures the immense experience we collectively lived through together. It might even utilize the ability to tag others that are a part of your journey and show the connections we built, leaned on and/or strengthed during the pandemic. This website would need to be built to capture these stories, and I could imagine it being made into a movie (documentary) where people are captured on the screen telling their stories or written down in a book.
Why: This idea is simple, harnesses the power of storytelling, and it is a great way to come back together and honor that all people in a school community had a meaningful journey. It is a reminder that meaning is often co-constructed with others, and it gives people a chance to share their joys, heartbreaks, and be human together before diving into the year.
Deeper connections with each other, visible emotions together from deep laughter to tears, and an opportunity to capture in a visual artifact the experiences and meaning that students and teachers created while they were separated or in quantine.
Adopt & Adapt
We would need to build a facilitation guide for schools to use, and if there was an attempt to build out the bigger idea, it would need a core team to bring the website to fruition.