Malinda Garcia & Ryan Sennett
Malinda and Ryan, two high school English teachers at Wind River High School in Wyoming, were mesmerized by closing speakers at the 2017 NNER Conference. The speakers included a group of 8 seniors from Parkland High North, speaking about the need for educational reform and for educators to develop teaching practices that mirrored the social justice issues necessary for students to engage with, challenge, and be a part of their ever-changing world.
They spent the entire plane ride home at a metaphorical cross-roads, wondering what it would mean to truly provide a chance for their students to grapple with the world around them, rather than just reading about it.
They started small. Their goal was ambitious yet precise: develop a rigorous curriculum that allows their students to critically explore, engage, and challenge ideas in the career fields they hoped to enter.
Malinda and Ryan will share with NNER Conference attendees how they continue to push the limits of what a high school classroom can be, requiring shifts in assessment design, pedagogy, and even traditional notions of a physical classroom space. They will detail how they take down walls, and build new bridges, which includes at time an openness to the irreverent and provocative.