The Open Future Institute team was honored this week to welcome in a brand-new cohort of educators to the QUESTion Academy for the 2021/22 school year.

We were grateful to hold our Initial Teacher Training at one of our partner schools, Bronx Latin, who not only hosted us for all 3-days, but also welcomed educators from other institutions to join those who would be attending from their own community.

These educators, representing middle and high schools from various boroughs in NYC, joined the Open Future Institute team to create an open and compassionate training space, experience and facilitate lessons from the QUESTion Class curriculum, and build a community of collaborative and supportive learners. These foundations are key components in any of our teacher trainings, but held more significance in the face of the impacts that the global pandemic has had on our education institutions.

For some, this was the first time returning to a school building since early 2020, yet all were fully committed to the shared learning journey, seizing opportunities to reconnect on a human level with friends and colleagues, and building relationships with new acquaintances.

This instance of the Initial Teacher Training also provided a novel opportunity for our team, as we benefitted from the presence of several veteran QUESTion Class teachers and school leaders. Through their participation and moments of leadership, sessions were enhanced and elevated, bringing life to the QUESTion Class philosophies as they shared experiences and perspectives from their own classrooms. We cannot express how grateful we are for their contribution, and are excited to create more opportunities for their involvement in the future.

In our closing reflections, a teacher shared that the training had given them the opportunity to build a sense of Interconnectedness with colleagues that they had known professionally for several years, viewing them for the first time through the deeply humanizing lens that the QUESTion Project provides. We were all reminded of the importance in not only understanding the QUESTion Project, but in authentically experiencing it through our own learning, setting the stage for this cohort of educators to create Question Classrooms that truly serve as an outlet for their students’ humanity.