#TeamTuesday: Karen Strachan

Karen Strachan is the Youth Program Coordinator at the Dixon. In her role, Karen manages onsite education experiences for tots through teens, family engagement programs, field trips, camps, and educator professional development workshops. The job provides constant variety of tasks, shifting between direct service and administration, making and planning. Karen's day at the Dixon might include building flower presses, building spreadsheets, orchestrating rotations for 100 first graders, organizing 100 camp packets for mailing, teaching, meeting, and always always working with the education team.

Working from home, Karen continues working always always with the education team. The onsite location for programs is now online, and the new avenues for supporting and engaging families also provide new opportunities for creation and experimentation. One exciting collaboration has been an internal one: youth programs and the outreach teams are working together to create live classes and downloadable lesson plans for educators. 

Though work leans a little more heavily toward administration right now, there is still constant variety of tasks. Karen's dining room table doubles as an office, sound stage, and sewing studio. Her porch is an outdoor classroom and the kitchen is a science lab (complete with a counter full of dirty post-experiment dishes).

Karen's day at the "home office" starts with the daily education department meeting. The team meets every morning to check in on DixonAtHome content, give updates on community partnerships and virtual initiatives, share information from research or other meetings, discuss strategy, and generally stay connected.

A mid-morning break for Pilates or a walk have become a part of the daily routine. Loretta crashing Tuesday Pilates classes has also become a part of the daily routine. She has a very different idea of the cat stretch.

Mornings are usually meeting-full and include quick follow-ups on #DixonAtHome components, educators resources, strategy, and other business.

Lunch breaks include a shift to the other side of the table for some mask making. Sewing masks for family and friends has also become a highlight of the day especially when they are ready for delivery. Especially when the delivery includes a wave from the window, a shout from the porch, or a socially distanced air high-five.

Afternoons are generally project-focused: working on a pre-recorded video for the educators page, making an example for a live class, or formatting downloadable activities. Plus a spreadsheet or two and another meeting or three.

Karen misses direct service and direct connections with Dixon families and student groups, so she is excited the Dixon's virtual programming is growing to include live experiences. And so grateful to be able to continue learning, laughing, and finding new ways to collaborate with the Dixon staff and Memphis community.

Posted by Kristen Rambo at 4:17 PM
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