This week, Workspace was proud to hold a very exciting event. On Monday and Tuesday, we hosted a workshop of educational innovators who are planning to open a colearning community or microschool. As we continue to grow our colearning community here in Bethel CT, we want to help other school starters by sharing our knowledge with others participating in this growing movement. It is one of our goals to become a training center for the burgeoning colearning movement in addition to helping our members and others create the education they want for their family.
We invited two leaders from the colearning community and microschool field to be our co-hosts. Tory Gattis is the founder of both Microschool Revolution and Talent Unbound in Houston, TX, and Kate Fox is co-founder of The Birch School, a learning community in Rock Tavern, NY.
They helped us mentor potential colearning community founders from near and far. Eight groups participated. One family is thinking of founding a Workspace in an unused synagogue in Long Beach, NY. Another group came in from Vermont, a third from Las Vegas, proving that this is a strong and growing trend.
One of the stars of the event was our black box Film and Performance Studio, where we stage dramas and musicals but which can also be transformed into one of the most versatile and welcoming event spaces in Fairfield County.
Workspace has become a leader in the movement of building colearning communities and personalized project-based education. The success of our training shows that a lot of smart people see the potential of colearning and may use Workspace as a model and mentor as they create a microschool in their community. The experience also helped us gather more information about what these founders need, which is helping us put together a playbook.
The Workshop was also a lot of fun, with six interactive info sessions, a learner panel with six learners telling the participants why they love Workspace and how important it is to have the feeling that they are owning their education. The evening included a three-hour envisioning session to design the ultimate learning environment for their communities, with mentoring and exchanging of ideas with the different groups.
The Workshop was interrupted by a winter storm that forced us to do some of the sessions virtually, but in a way, that is fitting. Workspace Education is about real-world problem solving, and part of that is adapting to setbacks. Also, like most microschools, many of our learners use digital and virtual coursework as part of their personalized plans. So some of our trainers and guests met remotely using Zoom, using cloud-based tools to overcome the weather, just as our learners might do.
All in all, it was an exciting and encouraging week for the microschool and colearning community movement. It demonstrates that many people across the country believe in what we are doing and want to be a part of it. Thanks to all of our attendees for their time with us, and to Kate and Tory for helping to mentor our guests.