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“Partnering” by Jean Oelwang

Tangible lessons from 65+ of the world's most remarkable partnerships.


Education Connection Architects

Education Connection Architects may be
administrators, educational leaders, homeschoolers, consultants
& classroom educators

—anyone facilitating groups of individual learners to develop and model skills in partnering.
Words from a Connection Architect

Out of the pandemic came a realization that we all have a deep yearning for human connection. Educators are significantly impacted by outside factors as well as the demands of the profession. Educators are asked to have a culture of collaboration, but we lack an ecosystem that prioritizes building and nurturing relationships. We are asked to practice a growth mindset, but the expectations set for us do not allow us to be safe in being vulnerable. Education needs a pathway to allow for educators to build, nurture, and deepen their partnerships with colleagues, families, and the communities they serve.

Bauchau Thomas Baochau Thomas
Words from a Connection Architect

Education has moved its focus off of people and stories to data and outcomes. The data should tell the story of what increased focus on people’s lives looks like, which will drive outcomes. If we want to raise achievement, we need to focus on relationships.

Rebecca Pankratz Rebecca Pankratz
Words from a Connection Architect

Connection Architects can create new avenues for opportunity and take a mindful approach to collaboration across boundaries, both virtual and physical.

cameron sinclair Cameron Sinclair
Words from a Connection Architect

As we rush to “catch kids up,” we lose focus on the critical importance of nurturing well-being and establishing strong relationships with peers and trusted adults. This process can be scaffolded intentionally through daily routines and practices. Connection Architects will provide a network of individuals who can share what works best across diverse contexts.

Elizabeth Crawford Elizabeth Crawford
Words from a Connection Architect

Relationship is the foundation for community, collaboration, accountability, and so much more. In education, having strong relationships means having a strong school system, which affects student outcomes. I believe Connection Architects can make this happen by promoting the importance of a relationship reset, along with providing logical and tactile toolkits to educators and schools that will bring quantitive outcomes.

220916-BEY001-098A1843-WEB-1200x800-1 Peta Jeppesen
Words from a Connection Architect

The technological advancements in society create seemingly limitless possibilities to connect with people and opportunities to learn—hence the amazing potential to reshape education. However, these advancements simultaneously can disconnect people from their surroundings, overwhelm people with choice, and distract from progress. The intentionality of the Connection Architects to build relationships can break down the barriers that hinder progress and create solutions to education’s wicked problems. Our collective intelligence will make strides within education and have fun during the process.

Amanda Riske Amanda Riske
Words from a Connection Architect

Relationships are the backbone of humanity; therefore, education needs a relationship reset to globally align our interconnectedness and create purpose-driven initiatives to better our ever-changing world. Connection Architects can help make this happen by creating infinite synergy within networks and fusing together behind impactful partnerships that meet the needs of today while enhancing possibilities for the future.

Erica Bailin Erica Bailin
Words from a Connection Architect

In today’s world of screens and sterility, we are starving for genuine, authentic connections. Such relationships are the foundation of a healthy learning environment. Connection Architects provides the nourishment our system desperately needs. Their teachings ensure our youth feel seen and supported, the vital lifeline to positive growth and development. Right now, there is nothing more crucial than redefining and rekindling what it means to be in relationship with each other and the world around us.

ash Ash Silver
Words from a Connection Architect

Our current education system need a paradigm shift away from behavior-focused to relationship-focused. Positive Safe Relationships are the antidote to emotional dysregulation and will heal on an individual and community level.

ginger healy Ginger Healy

For Professionals in Education

Uniquely beneficial for administrators, educational leaders, consultants, and educators, our Architect Toolkits serve as valuable resources for elevating collaboration within educator teams.

Grounded in the Plus Wonder Six Degrees of Connection framework, these toolkits offers targeted exercises designed to empower educators in any context or demographic in building and modeling robust connections and establishing a common language around partnering.

Harness the potential of the Architect Toolkits not only for small team collaboration but also as an effective tool for professional development across a school or organizational setting. Educators can enhance their connections, leading to stronger partnerships and improved collaboration, inside and outside their learning communities.

Education Connection Architects not only benefit from Plus Wonder resources but a network of thought partners working to strengthen relationships in education. Share your findings, adaptations, and projects with our Architect community and learn new ways to apply our resources in your context.

Unique to Education Connection Architects is the opportunity to participate in challenges aimed at funding continued work in the classroom with students to foster collaboration and partnering. Learn more about our latest challenge and the many other benefits of joining the Architect Program.

Explore the benefits of the Architect Program

For Student Use

Plus Wonder curricular resources can be used in the classroom with students. For educators working with Early Elementary and Middle School students, the Explorer Toolkits offer a lighter touch and playful approach to enhancing collaboration within your class that may adapt more readily to this demographic.

For those desiring a more comprehensive exploration suitable for mature students, consider introducing the Architect Toolkits. It can align seamlessly with out-of-school programs, social-emotional learning, advisory programs, or student life exercises. The versatile nature of these toolkits makes it an ideal tool for fostering collaboration and connection beyond traditional classroom settings.

Download the Explorer Toolkits here

Who are Education Connection Architects?

Here are some of our Council members working to evolve this network of thought partners:

Peta Jeppesen

As owner of Beyond the Classroom Australia, Peta is excited to implement the partnership wisdom within her Dare To Be A Rockstar Teacher Program, to support the continued growth of positive school cultures, supporting educator well-being and development.

Ginger Healy

As Program Director of Attachment & Trauma Network, Ginger will use this collaboration and partnership to further their work in building trauma-informed, child-centered, and resilience-focused home and school environments.

Elizabeth Crawford

Professor Crawford uses the tools and wisdom with future teachers to deepen their connections with one another which, in turn, will support their abilities to bring these practices into their future classrooms.

Rebecca Pankratz

As Director of Resilience and Student Services with ESSDACK, Rebecca views our mission as a practical way for groups and systems to implement approaches that will create meaningful and lasting change. She’s a big believer that there are greater heights and depths to be achieved in community.

Amanda Riske

As an educational researcher, teacher trainer, and state program director of data governance, Amanda plans to leverage the Plus Wonder toolkits to deepen her current relationships and foster new partnerships in educational and research contexts.

Cameron Sinclair

As the founder of the Worldchanging Institute and a consultant and adjunct on design thinking, Cameron feels the world needs to create deeper methods of collaboration and partnership as problems become more interlinked and complex.

Erica Bailin

As Principal of Instructional Design at Arizona State University, Erica is excited to meaningfully share the Architect toolkits and Partnering wisdom, with the aspirational goal of creating positive change for humanity by removing barriers of connectedness in formal, informal, and unformal learning environments.

Baochau Thomas

As an instructional coach for high schools, Baochau Thomas hopes to provide the time, space, and toolkits for her colleagues to reinvest in each other, so they can show up united in their beliefs and goals for the betterment of the students and communities they serve.

Ash Silver

As a founding member of THINK Global School, Ash uses exercises from the Architect Toolkits to unify global educators and forge Deep Connections that permeate the school culture.

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