Pairs + Pods: Because we believe in dialogue based learning, self reflection, peer support, and integrating what you are learning into your life, we ask that everyone who participate do so with a buddy or group. Each individual within your group will register individually, however we will ask you to share who your buddy or group is with us during orientation before the course kicks off. If you do not have a buddy or group to sign up with, there will be space in an intake survey to indicate that you would like to be paired with another solo learner to support one another. Groups of six (6) or more signing up together get a facilitated opening and closing live session with Spring Up facilitators; if your group has 6 or more participants please email [email protected] letting us know your group size and which course you want to sign up for so we can coordinate. You can also request an invoice if your organization is paying for you as a group.
Orientation: When you register for the course you will receive an email detailing all of the next steps including confirming your address so we can ship your welcome package, letting us know who your buddy or group is, and a worksheet to plan out your term. The week before our course starts (February 6th - 10th) is welcome week. During this week we will share the calendars to sign up for coaching, answer to frequently asked questions about the platform and experience, and a safety and care plan to start mapping how you will care for yourself throughout the course term and beyond.
Platform Content + Discussion: Each Friday two new modules of content will post for you to review over the following week, with the first set of modules posting on Friday February 10th and the final modules posting on March 17th. An email will go out every Friday informing you of the updated content including an overview of the core ideas and resources, content warnings, and guidance on how to pick which resource to dive into based on time capacity and interest. Each module of content starts with an optional grounding exercise, then shares 1-2 core resources (usually a video and/or short essay), followed by a tool or practice alongside reflection and discussion questions you can bring back to your buddy or group. At the end of each module for each week there is a list of optional resources to dive deeper into the content including essays (with accompanying audio recordings of our team reading hem aloud), podcasts, webinars, and comic strips. Underneath each section of content there is space for participants and Spring Up coaches to engage with one another by sharing reflections, posing questions, and connecting with other students. Participants retain access to this content for a year.
- Week 1: The first two modules explore what oppression looks like in educational environments, as well as how to respond to harm. Together we map out how binary thinking, perfectionism, ableism, top down education, and punishment undermine learning, and how facilitators and teachers can design for accessibility, and incorporate restorative justice and harm reduction strategies to prevent and respond to violence within their spaces.
- Week 2: The second two modules explore our design principle of "from the edges to the center" unpacking how we can center learner agency through consent and participation. Together we map out who is usually centered and who is usually marginalized in our spaces, and what we can do to shift these power dynamics in collaboration with learners.
- Week 3: The next two modules explore how our approaches to conflict are shaped by our identities and what is necessary to see conflict as a generative force, rather than destructive. Together we explore fictional stories in order to workshop strategies for intervention rooted in realistic scenarios.
- Week 4: The next two modules explore the topics of nonbinary thinking and invisible labor, inviting us to follow the lead of queer and trans folks in embracing nuance, complexity, and self-evolution. Together we unpack the invisible labor of teaching and facilitation, mapping out emotional labor and mental checklists that contribute to burnout and inequitable distribution of labor along race and gender lines.
- Week 5: These two modules dig into burnout and sustainability, untangling the contributing factors of burnout including demoralization and trauma exposure, and sharing tools and mindsets to be able to continue doing this work for the long haul.
- Week 6: The final two modules ground us in the wisdom of our bodies and the importance of play as we collectively envision what liberatory education means and what our next steps are to implement what we learned.
- Once the 6 weeks are over, the next 6 months are your second opportunity to dig into this content as we share monthly prompts going through the modules on a slower cadence.
Workbook: In addition to the weekly content posted on this platform, you will receive a print Liberatory Education Workbook in the mail. This workbook is a physical space to keep track of your ideas and engage with the core learning from the entire course.
Live Spaces: In addition to the asynchronous discussion space under the content on the platform, we also offer two types of live facilitated spaces throughout the term. Mixers are spaces to connect with other participants and alumni, play games, and discuss your intentions and takeaways. There is no required prework for mixers since they include participants from all bluelight academy courses, and the final mixer of the term includes alumni from previous years and terms at bluelight academy. Mixers are held the week before courses begin, and the week after course content completes. Office Hours are course specific spaces to unpack and reflect on course content. Each course has office hours with Spring Up coaches during week 3 and week 6. Specific times and dates will be shared in January.
Coaching: Registration for this course includes two 1:1 coaching session with our coaches. Spring Up coaches provide coaching, peer support, and resource sharing to help clients meet their personal goals. Our collaborative approach to coaching is based in a non-hierarchical relationship that is solution focused — coaches recognize that clients are experts in their own lived experience. Coaching is strengths-based and culturally specific in that coaches help the client enhance their inherent strengths, skills, and resources accessible to them. Spring Up coaching has an expectation that the client is ready to engage in further learning and implementation of that learning outside of the session. Your first included coaching session must be used by March 31st, the second can be used within the next 6 months as you continue to have access to the content and implement what you learned.
Reflection: At the end of the 6 weeks you are invited to submit a reflection on your experience, this is totally optional. If you are open to sharing your reflection with other course participants, your reflection will be integrated into the course content. We invite all sorts of reflections but particularly love creative pieces including music, planting a seed, artwork, written or video affirmations and intentions.
Alumni Reflection: I’m currently taking spring up’s liberatory education course from bluelight academy and really appreciate all of the learning! It’s been such good timing! My colleague and friend is doing it with me and we’ve gotten a lot out of it. A lot of validation for our facilitation practices but also things to adjust. It’s so values aligned especially in spaces where we try to convene institutional and community leaders…I also had THE best coaching session and it was so nourishing and exactly what I needed in this moment for myself.