This month’s program focus was “Education & Life-Long Learning Day”. We engaged with area educators, public speakers, and those in the education field. This is not my general area of expertise, so I learned quite a bit.
We heard from Toastmasters, local school Superintendents, BOCES, MVCC, and STEM LEGO Robotics. We learned all about our area schools’ challenges and successes, current growth strategies, and more. We learned how the funding works: where the money comes from, mandates, taxes, etc. We are very fortunate to have so many educational facilities and opportunities close by in our region!
One surprising piece for me was the change in BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services). BOCES used to be known as the place where students who struggled in traditional school went for extra help, or to find a different path. It’s so much more than that. BOCES offers non-traditional, hands-on curricula that go hand-in-hand with courses being taught in high school and higher education. BOCES works with local schools and colleges to craft programs needed to give students the extra hands-on, real-life experiences they will need in the workplace. It can work in conjunction with what they are learning in the classroom.
Our Toastmaster exercise took me out of my comfort zone with some off-the-cuff public speaking. I usually either know a topic very well and can speak on it on cue, or I have prepared in advance and chosen my words carefully. This exercise gave us a topic with no prep time, and we just had to wing it! While I got through it okay, it’s not how I prefer to speak publically. I admire those who have developed this skill and do it well!
The day lived up to my expectations, though I wish we had spent a little more time on the “Identifying our Own Leadership Values” exercise, which had been a homework assignment. It was a short, interesting exercise on this program day. Very quickly, we had to circle our most defining values from a long list of pre-selected words. We had to keep narrowing it down until we hit our core value. Mine turned out to be “Balance,” which is probably no surprise to those who know me best!
Regarding our LMV project, we are continuing to assist the Children’s Museum with creating an exhibit plan to utilize the outdoor space behind the museum as an extension of the museum. Though our project is focused on building the future plan for the space—not necessarily building the space itself—we did get together as a project team recently to clean up the outdoor area, which was overgrown with vines. We were able to get our hands a little dirty, and get a true feel for the space for which we are creating a new vision. It was hard work, but also fun and invigorating!
– Brenda Rogowski, Loan and Deposit Operations Manager, LMV Participant