Becoming Who I Am
People oftentimes ask, What becomes of children after they graduate Opal School? I imagine it’s a question that comes up in all of your schools – learning environments that prioritize community and connection, the social-emotional and the intellectual, creativity and expression, empathy and agency, conflict and beauty, democracy and citizenship. The rich neural architecture constructed in these environments isn’t always immediately apparent – and certainly isn’t captured in standardized exams. That our schools are vital places of joyful theory building in the present is indisputable, but people wonder: What lives bloom from these roots? How do people who grew in these spaces, to paraphrase Loris Malaguzzi, continue to draw from the gem that they hold in their pockets?
Our new film, Becoming Who I Am, illustrates how those learning environments that you are working so hard to create lead people to become the neighbors, coworkers, and changemakers the world needs. We hope that it inspires you and that it is useful to you: we hope that you show it at your back-to-school nights to extend parents’ imagination and alleviate their fears; in your teacher education classes to help the next generation of educators see the value of their innovation; to your friends and families so that they can finally understand why you do the work that you do; to advocate for greater opportunities for all young people.
We’re awfully excited about this film, made by the extraordinarily talented and generous Opal School parents Irene Tejaratchi Hess and Mark Palansky. Let us know what you think!