I am lucky to call David and Clare Price friends. David has an OBE for services to Education and Clare has the most amazing passion and impact on the educators she works with especially within the world of the (capital A) Arts. David and I first met when I was an Assistant Headteacher at Cramlington Learning Village with the amorphous remit of personalising learning. David was the keynote at our annual conference and wove together stories of innovation in education with live music (I kid you not). My copy of David's book "Open - how we will work, live and learn in the future" is crammed with margin scribbles and post-it notes, underlinings and question marks. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Through a twist of fate, David and I decided to put together some workshops on STEM and Social Innovation which we ran together in Australia for a couple of hundred teachers and spawned the tongue-in-cheek STEMpathy hashtag. It was a privilege to work with him and an even bigger privilege to get to know Clare; a wonderful couple.
When the opportunity arose to accompany David and Clare and a team of leaders from the International School of Brussels on a study tour of innovative schools in California, I could not say no. Whilst I have learned so much in the last three years of running this business, and had the opportunity to think harder, design better and collaborate more widely than ever before, I have not taken the time out to really immerse myself in my own professional learning.
We will be visiting East Palo Alto Academy, Stanford dSchool, Nueva School, High Tech High Point Loma and High Tech High Chula Vista and while I am sure the days themselves will be stimulating enough, the opportunity to dissect, discuss and debate with my fellow travellers will be invaluable.
I am also going to hangout pre-study tour with my friend John, the Program Manager for Google Geo Education and an all round good chap. So while I will miss my wife, my son and my dog, I can't wait to go trans-pacific and start this non-metaphorical learning journey.