Thinking outside the box: prism scopes

by Comm 101 Professor Rob Pocock  September, 2012

Dream makers

My wife and I just returned from a vacation in Medora, North Dakota. Why, you’re asking. It’s a long story but suffice it to say my wife’s family has strong connections to that town.

Coincidentally, USA Today ran a story about North Dakota just before our visit and highlighted Medora. (Little did Cindy and I know we were trendsetters about places to visit in the United States!) In addition to enjoying the “Pitchfork Fondue “ (ask me to tell you more about that), we went to the “Medora Musical” which was pure Americana…and pure hoot.

A prism adorns the sky over Medora, N.D.

But I thought about SCN and our role as school communicators while enjoying the pre-show at the “Medora Musical.” The cast invited all the kids in the audience to come on stage so “Professor Dreammacher” could talk with them. He reminded me of snake oil salesman. He had a stagecoach and a top hat and he was exceptionally well spoken. But in the end, his message moved me.

He gave each student a “prism scope.” I hope you’ll Google it. I would provide links but I don’t want to appear to be endorsing one brand over the other. But with just a little effort, I found a site where I could buy a quantity of 250 prism scopes for as little as 75 cents each.

A prism scope is similar to a kaleidoscope. As Professor Dreammacher pointed out, it helps you see the world just a little bit differently. In the few minutes he spent with the kids on stage, he encouraged them to never let go of their dreams. To take chances. To know it was okay to look at things differently.

Is your school accepting dreamers?

Is that a message your school district is encouraging in your students? How many dreamers enrolled as new students this year in your schools? Do you have the people and the programs in place to encourage them? Support them? Empower them? Or is your school district one that will beat these dreamers into submission to become conformists? And what role are you playing to make sure that doesn’t happen.

I’m grateful for the little getaway my wife and I had for a number of reasons. But it was five minutes on stage that these kids had with Professor Dreammacher that made the biggest impact.

His words are going to impact every lesson plan I deliver this semester. What can you do to ensure the same can be said about the teachers in your district?

Want to read more articles geared to school communicators? Click HERE.

photos by Sistak u0026amp; Lev