- I acknowledge that change is incredibly scary. I recently moved to the east coast, that was incredibly scary for me. I have changed careers and changed the path my career was going down multiple times, every time it is scary and hard. Every time it was worth it.
- Not everything I envision is feasible now or anytime soon. This is a long view process, a look at a future we want and must work really hard to get.
- I recognize that many teachers have likely heard proposals for change before and believe in their system they use now. This is why creating a new type of school is so crucial. This school would be a beacon, a model, a symbol for the change that is possible and hopefully inspire existing schools to change.
Truths I believe in:
- Students rise to the expectations of the teacher and rise even faster if the whole school has the same expectations. Almost every student has lower expectations than they should. Many feel this way because it has been fed to them by parents, society, previous teachers, or evidence(grades) they find damning. On the other spectrum, many students expect too much and burn themselves out with no time for true curiosity. The sources of this are often the same as the previous group.
- People can grow as students, regardless of how they arrived on campus. If we categorize them as incapable, even in the recesses of our minds, they will stay that way. If we believe in, teach, and show a growth mindset, our students will follow.
- School should a peaceful place low in contention, and high in teamwork and pride
- Success should celebrated. So should mistakes. So should small acts of kindness. Growth is growth however small.
- Growth in academics, spirituality, and co-curricular events should be considered success, not necessarily the typical sense of success where there is one great one and lots of losers. That said, we need to celebrate the amazing things our students do more often (Monthly assemblies to highlight amazing things that happened the past month?). Maybe a page dedicated to this with weekly updates. The virtual work on the wall that elementary schools do so well.
- Modernity is no less valid, rich, or holy than traditional. In fact, being open to using what works along with ideas for new ways is crucial. It can be exhausting to continually remake the wheel. We have to find a balance between staying with things that work and pushing the boundaries of what is possible.
- People fight change no matter what, sometimes I think big changes need to be sought now so that change happens. If we’re going to put the effort in, lets make a seismic shift. This is the only way to be a model. If it is too much like the norm, than it’s just another school with a new name and fresh marketing. Fundamentally, this has to be the school teachers and parents have dreamt of for years.
How will this work? I am working on that, but I could use your help. Join me.