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“Inviting my students to participate in humanitarian projects engages them and helps them create their own meaning in ways that empower and extend their learning.”

“Each year I encourage my students to develop and deliver their own humanitarian project—one that helps others by providing aid or resources not otherwise available to them. I shape their efforts by helping them understand what it means to support someone in a humanitarian project. I encourage them to develop the planning, communication, and presentation skills they need to engage their community in their project. And I help them connect their efforts with the social, cultural, and historical context that shapes their own histories. My students leave the classroom with a deeper, more empathetic understanding of the world around them.”

Michael Lindblad

Michael Lindblad is a multicultural educator from Portland, Oregon. He just completed his 45th speaking engagement as the keynote speaker for the United Way event at the Portland Art Museum. Michael has recently earned the OEA/NEA 2016 Teacher of ... Full Bio

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  1. Michael Lindblad 1 year ago

    The Humanitarian Project is the most powerful action I’ve been involved with in 22 years in education. I look forward to expanding the learning from the videos you’ve watched and helping you learn strategies to create your own humanitarian project in your community. Our participants are local within the State of Oregon as well as others around the country. These leaders have an array of various educational leadership positions. We look forward to interacting with you, answering your questions, and having some fun.

    Please feel free to introduce yourself to each other on this Teaching Partners thread.

    See you Thursday August 24th 6pm PST!

    Michael Lindblad

  2. Gail Adams 12 months ago

    Hi, Michael and fellow teachers! First of all, a big thank you to Michael for sharing your gift with us. I hope to bring a humanitarian project to my seniors in my class called English Advanced Topics. These students are all college-bound, and I want to imbue them with a sense of social responsibility.

    I teach at Wheeling Park High School in Wheeling, WV. I’m an NBCT and the 2015 WV STOY.

  3. Michael Lindblad 12 months ago

    Welcome Gail and always nice to have a 2015 OSTOY team member with us! We know that you covered more territory advancing teacher leadership than almost anyone on our team. I think we’ll be able to collaborate on some great ideas for your set of students!

  4. Jennifer Ainsworth 12 months ago

    Hi, I am thrilled to be a part of this experience. I teach high school , moderate special needs students in South Carolina. We have ventured as a class into establishing a kindness initiative for our school and community. Looking forward to collaborating and learning from your journey!
    Jennifer Ainsworth
    2015 SC TOY

  5. Michael Lindblad 12 months ago

    Jennifer you are a natural humanitarian teacher leader and we look forward to collaborating with you! I love the idea of a kindness initiative! Thank you!

  6. Mairi Cooper 12 months ago

    Hello All! I am very excited about “meeting” all of you, learning and sharing this evening and next week. I teach high school orchestra, music theory and world music just a little north of Gail, outside of Pittsburgh PA.

    My students believe strongly in using music in service to others. We have a long standing partnership with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh but have also done a lot of other smaller projects to support schools from North Carolina to Louisiana. Last spring, we decided to take it to the next level and designed a series of “pop up” concerts around four philosophical pillars (education, audience building, giving people access to live music and bringing joy to others).

    I am thrilled to listen and be inspired by Michael and all of you. This is a great way to start the year!
    Mairi Cooper
    2016 PA STOY

  7. Michael Lindblad 12 months ago

    Thank you Mairi! Sounds like your students are involved in exciting projects through music in PA but also states in your region. You really have taken it to the next level. The 4 pillars “pop up” concerts. Than you for your contributions!

  8. Mohammed Rochdi 12 months ago

    Hello. I am an English teacher. I live in Morocco. I am attending this workshop for personal and professional development.

  9. Muhammad Rahman 12 months ago

    Excited to get started on this journey and to learn some skills I can disseminate to my students. I am currently an 8th Grade US History and Algebra teacher in Portland, Oregon.
    Personal and professional growth is paramount to my understanding of how to assist my students in their growth as glocal citizens of the world.
    Thanks again Michael.

  10. Lyon Terry 12 months ago

    Hey Everyone, looking forward to this starting. I am a fourth grade teacher in Seattle ready to engage my students with anything they find of interest–especially when it connects to the world outside of school.

  11. Sarabeth Leitch 12 months ago

    HS language arts teacher in PPS and Michael Lindblad fan. Ready to learn with you all!

  12. Armando Gonzales 12 months ago

    Gracias Michael for the invite to participate! I recently retired from high school counseling a couple of years ago. However, I continue to be engaged in the community. Ready for a new experience!

  13. Sarah Reed 12 months ago

    Sarah Reed, Kentucky TOY. I am a hybrid teacher. Half my time is in the classroom and half is out coaching teachers.

  14. Andrea Miller 12 months ago

    I am a middle school teacher in Portland, Oregon. This year I have a Leadership and Community Service class and have started an administrative and teacher leadership program at Concordia. I am looking for new ways to get my students involved in the community.

  15. Michael Lindblad 12 months ago

    Mohammed, thank you for joining us from Morocco, The Maghreb is one of my favorite places in the world. I studied in Tunisia and was so impressed with the history, culture, and especially the people-who all spoke 4-5 languages. One of our close family friends lives in Morocco half of the year and it is a beautiful country so close to Espana. Always wanted to go! I hope that you can find some helpful strategies. Please let us know what you are working on so we can learn from you!

  16. Michael Lindblad 12 months ago

    Muhammad, thank you so much for sharing your positions and goals in your post. It takes a unique skill that not many have to teach Algebra and Social Studies. You must be in high demand with that many licenses. The authentic personal and professional skill set lasts a list time. What did you have in mind to improve those skill sets for your students? Consider even connecting with Andrea to empower that leadership class or potentially embark on project together. We would love for you to present a small piece of a proposal or collaboration with Andrea on Thursday night.

  17. Michael Lindblad 12 months ago

    Andrea thank you for signing up through our Facebook post for our Teaching Partners Zoom last Thursday. It was fun with many entertaining guests from all over the United States and even a participant from North Africa. I like your idea of empowering the 8th graders to develop their own projects instead of being guided by the high school level. I am wondering what would be the ideal outcome for you, that class, and the authentic professional skills for students. We look forward to seeing a small proposal with you and feel free to connect with Muhammad in while inspiring your school!

  18. Michael Lindblad 12 months ago

    Lyon it was awesome to work with you again and we know Washington is doing excellent work around teacher leadership. Thank you for sharing your story about your students posting signs that can add a positive vibe to everyone’s day. Kindness and awareness are the best objectives. I also think it connects to social-emotional learning which I know you’ve done a lot of work on. We are hoping to hear about any ideas you have or refinements on current projects that you can share next Thursday and potentially at the next regional teaching partners workshop!

  19. Michael Lindblad 12 months ago

    Sarah I know you are super swamped so thank you for participating. We want to hear from you live next week about your new hybrid role, which we’ve all dreamed of, and the projects you’ve been associated with. I know that we both wanted to be in schools where the students had a variety of challenges. Please share with us your strategies, goals, and projects Thursday!

  20. Michael Lindblad 12 months ago

    Jennifer it was great for you to join us from your late night work space! We’ve all been inspired by your work with Special needs students. Brett from Oregon and you have gone extra miles to create authentic experiences for those students. We also know it is a goal of yours to have them experience education like all students. The kindness initiative sounds inspiring with the potential to engage the whole community/school. We look forward to you sharing those experiences Thursday!

  21. Michael Lindblad 12 months ago

    Armando after seeing photos of you run the hood to coast this Friday, now I know why you could only join us for a bit on Thursday. Congrats on yet another accomplishment in addition to an incredible family, counseling career, and community empowerment of the whole Portland Metro area through Mando’s Mundo. We are hoping to have you share how you began thinking about community engagement in your career and what skills are needed by students/teachers to do it!

  22. Michael Lindblad 12 months ago

    Sarabeth it was great for you to join us and share why your mind is spinning. You are just a model of passion and we could all see that when you were one of the keynotes at the first ever ECET2 teacher leadership conference in Eugene, Oregon this year! It may be challenging for you to select from so many projects to share pieces, but I like how you articulated getting the entire context of the community before community engagement action begins. Please continue on that concept on Thursday and share even more of how you can transfer mind spinning excitement into community action.

  23. Michael Lindblad 12 months ago

    Gail everyone wants either jam or apple butter after seeing your teaching desk while presenting. It was awesome that you joined us and I was impressed with all the folks from the East Coast staying up to 10 to be a part of this collaboration. I think Seniors could amaze you with their innovation and i see some nice connections to professional writing that can explain to community partners project goals. We look forward to you sharing more this Thursday.

  24. Michael Lindblad 12 months ago

    Mairi thank you for your detailed posts and participation last Thursday! We are happy we could provide some inspiration after a long day of meetings. I think you are at an advanced phase of project completion and refinement. It would be interesting to hear how your musical performances became popular enough to spread into other states as well! What are the areas that can take these projects from really good to excellent. I think your projects can teach others in our team especially next week when we take a look at positive project models and problems of practice that leaders overcame.

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Get ready for your Workshop. Explore these videos and think about how they apply to your own practice--even before our first online session begins.

In this series of videos, I engage teachers in a lively discussion and brainstorming session about ways that students can meaningfully participate in their communities.

Part One: Introduction

In part one of the workshop, I describe the power of student-initiated, community-based projects.

Part Two: Doing the Groundwork

In part two of the workshop, I describe what it takes to lay the groundwork for community-based projects.

Part Three: Community Projects Brainstorm

In part three of the workshop, participants share ideas they are familiar with that engage students in the community.

In these videos, students present their humanitarian proposals to the class for the first time. I, along with fellow students, query them on some of the details and logistics of their proposals.

Humanitarian Projects

In this video, two students propose a project that provides socks for the local homeless. Students are given the opportunity to ask questions and get clarifications.

Syrian Refugees and The Environment

In this video, students continue to present their proposals – one pair addresses the issue of Syrian refugees; another student tackles the environment and plans to work on “pollinator human alliance gardens.”

Archive of Session One of our Workshop

Thanks for taking part in a great first Session!

So that you can review our Workshop at any time, we’ve posted this archive of Session One. Please feel free to review it as you consider how you can engage your students in self-directed humanitarian projects.

When you’re ready, please check out the archive of Session 2, and the driving questions that help frame that session.

These questions will help to refine your understanding of they types of humanitarian projects that can make a real difference for your students; share and test your ideas for how you can adapt this the projects for your own classroom; and get ready to support other teachers as they personalize this practice to serve their students.

Get ready for Session Two of our Workshop

In this archive of our second Workshop session, you have the chance to share and refine your own take on the professional practice introduced in Session One.

You have the chance to ask questions that can refine your understanding and impact your practice; to share and test your ideas for how you can adapt this teaching practice for your own classroom; and to support other teachers participating in the workshop as they personalize this practice to serve their own students.

To make the most of our second Workshop session, please take time in advance to think about your responses to these driving questions:

  • How–in your own words–would you describe the teaching practice presented in Session One? How would you describe the impact that a self-directed humanitarian project might have for your students?
  • What about the teaching practice presented in the first Workshop session seemed most useful to you? What single component or idea seems like it would most strongly resonate with your students? 
  • How do you think your students would respond if this practice was presented to them exactly as described in Session One? Which elements do you think you’d need to change to better serve your students? Which would you be sure to present without modifying?
  • What elements would you add? Do you have resources, materials, or lesson plans you already use that you could adapt or incorporate to better personalize this practice?
  • What help or support would you need to present this practice in your own classroom?
  • What changes, if any, would you need to make to your school schedule or to your classroom environment for this practice to succeed for your students?