Playing on a network’s stage

**Article originally published in French.**

The CPSN has been busy behind the scenes for months now. Setting: a journey between the mountains of the West and the ocean islands of Eastern Canada. Multilingual piece, in English and French. Preparations are now underway to welcome the teams from the participating schools. I’ve got stage fright. It’s for them that we refine the scene and imagine all possible scenarios.

Time flies, and it’s already time to officially welcome them to the network. Act One. Behind the curtain, the host will let you join the meeting soon, I repeat my lines Hello ! I’m Alison, research assistant for the RCÉL. Thank you for making time to meet us at-. Spotlight. Forty-one times, across seven scenes: British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia.

We’ve spent months imagining the network, and now we’re finally meeting the faces and smiles of teachers, remedial educators and principals motivated to develop playful projects for their students. Stage fright fades away because our work becomes meaningful. As we get to know the member schools and their playful projects, we see the troupe being formed, the network being woven…

This first contact with the school teams fascinated me, because it gave me the unique opportunity to discover a huge variety of innovative educational projects, but above all it gave me a sense of belonging, of being part of a different educational movement.

From the notes I took at these meetings, I can draw four lessons:

  1. Human energy is as contagious as it is motivating in the pursuit of a common project. This positive energy, driven by the initiative and commitment of our school teams, is so well received by our research and development teams, because it keeps us involved.
  2. When we encounter similar situations, which bring their share of common challenges, our empathy plays its unifying role and enables us to quickly forge links, creating the foundations for a solid and prosperous network.
  3. The teams we met complement each other in one way or another, and can easily enrich their pedagogical projects. Dialogue is essential for sharing experience and exchanging knowledge.
  4. We have much to gain from comparing different professional experiences linked to specific contexts, issues or projects. In fact, I think it’s stimulating to meet teams living in situations that are foreign to us, because it keeps us open-minded, keeps our professional and personal reflections active, and enriches our practices.

To conclude my thoughts on these first pictures, I’d like to emphasize the power of human connections and the energy they generate in building a network. I also believe that cooperation is not only desirable and possible, thanks to the structure of the CPSN, but above all essential to the development of our schools’ educational projects.

Alison Cattani-Nardelli is a graduate of the University of Ottawa, where she studied French literature and entrepreneurship before completing a master’s degree. arts in Education. As part of her thesis, she had the opportunity to study alternative pedagogies and their effects in disadvantaged social contexts. For two years, she contributed to research projects on the DIY movement (Maker) and digital equity in Ontario, led by Megan Cotnam-Kappel and Michelle Schira Hagerman, and helped write a guide to distance learning for students with special needs for the Ontario Ministry of Education.