Friday, June 28, 2019

Determined Demitasse and Salon

Each year I like to develop a theme for my instructional space. This year as I began to think of what new theme to explore I struggled. I didn't really want to throw out everything (ideas and stuff) and build from scratch. But I also didn't really want to repeat a theme. I like to engage students and staff with their senses in the room that is #OurSTEAMCafe. I thought. I read. I thought some more. I searched Pinterest. I still struggled. I reached out to my PLN on Facebook. I have to love the connections we have made. One bright friend suggested like a Parisian Cafe. That idea sparked yet another for me. I will be employing a French Salon theme. As I wrote to her: "Oh Dacia, I love you. 1 idea leads to another. French Cafe - Like the old Salon's of Paris... forward thinking and gathering informally for discussions. Très bon." As in the period during The Enlightenment. Women would host gatherings to discuss Art, Music, Mathematics, Philosophy, Science, etc. These female hosts were called salonnière. I look forward to serving as a salonnière to share some of these concepts (aligned to STEAM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).

Many years ago when I was in a different location within our school, I hosted informal gatherings for technology discussion. Come gather and talk about what you need. It was sort of a variation of #CoffeeEdu / #CoffeeCue concept that was going around then. I was reminded of this when two different friends hosted #CoffeeEdu sessions near them. According to the guidelines suggested by CoffeeEdu at, session can be flexible, informal, anywhere gather is possilbe (coffee shop or non-coffee shop) but generally an hour. I'd love to bring this back during the school day for teachers and staff. But I don't think an hour will work for our needs and scheduling. So the ideas continued to swirl. I believe I have landed on a way to make this work.

I would like to host "Demitasse CoffeeEdu". For those unfamiliar, demitasse, which is a French word, means "half cup". They are usually only large enough to hold 4 ounces or less of espresso. Espresso is usually a thicker, more robust version of coffee. Branching off of this idea, I will offer half hour sessions to gather and converse in #OurSTEAMCafe. These sessions will not be formalized PD. They will be informal discussions to better support what teachers and staff need and want. To try to meet the needs of more staff I think I will also vary the day of the week that they are held. This way more people can attend these Demitasse CoffeeEdu sessions instead of missing every one should they fall on a day that teachers are always unavailable.

With the salon theme, I hope to also showcase/host a more structured, formalized theme as well. Not sure if those will be weekly themes or monthly themes for exploration. But that salon topic concept is still brewing in my brain. For now though, I think I like this concept of a "Demitasse CoffeeEdu". What do you think? If you were a teacher in my building would you be interested in something like this?

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