Throughout the year, The Broad Center’s Collaboration and Learning team hosts events, known as Emerging Practices Exchange (EPEx), to help network members collaborate and collectively work to solve challenges that they are facing in their work. The 2- to 3-day events focus on various topics, including operations and student supports, DE&I, talent and human capital, and community engagement.
Tera Jones is the EdConnect Program Manager at Denver Public Schools. Tera joined the recent Talent Strategies EPEx in Denver as a guest of Broad Residency alum, Laney Shaler (The Broad Residency 2016-2018).
Why did you choose to attend EPEx?
My boss, who is a Broad Residency alum, proposed the idea of joining an EPEx, explaining that it’s a great knowledge exchange for people engaged in talent strategies. I am new to my role and want to quickly be able to take it to next level. She suggested it could be a way to go deeper into my work and get additional perspectives on some of our biggest challenges. It was an opportunity to learn from others, give and get ideas, and ultimately, move our program forward more quickly. I wasn’t sure about being in front of a group talking about the intricacies and parts of my work that are still under development, but I realized that EPEx is a truly safe space for thoughtful questions and solving real and challenging problems together.
What was your biggest takeaway?
My biggest takeaway was a personal one. I loved that each individual was focused on action, feedback, and continuous improvement. I observed that the leaders in the room were there to seek input and feedback like me; we were all learning together and from each other. I have a long way to go on my leadership journey and it was powerful to see people advanced in their careers focused on their learning and growth for the benefit of themselves, colleagues, and their organizations.
What action do you plan to take after the session?
We came to EPEx to get feedback on a “grow your own” program called EdConnect, which aims to build a pipeline of teachers from our own talented student population by providing them with school- and work-based learning experiences. We were able to learn about other examples, which resulted in lots of interesting ideas to take home. More specifically, I learned that we need to align people on the vision of our program, the opportunity at hand for kids, and then get crystal clear on the path to get us there. I knew this in abstract but presenting and hearing great questions and feedback really pushed us in a helpful direction to clarify our “why”.