If you started a school from scratch, what would you see as necessary, and what would you take out from what we currently do? Thanks to the inspiration from George Couros this week and his #IMMOOC blog challenges, I am going to delve into my ideal school.
I’ve been thinking about my own school for years now. It lives in my head and calls to me every time I ram my head against the proverbial wall of resistance at my current school. When I can’t understand how change can be so slow, I fantasize of this dream school’s inner workings. The thing is, my dream school already exists in bits and pieces around the globe.
Its Maker Space lives at NuVu, where students use the design thinking process to create things like this hand drive wheelchair attachment, clearly meeting the needs of their users through empathy.
Fostering global awareness through travel opportunities at my dream school exists at the Think Global School, where students immerse themselves in the cultures of the world. When students aren’t learning in another place, they might be using VR technology to likewise gain empathy and understanding.
Its sustainability focus lives at Crossett Brook Middle School, where Sarah Popowicz leads students to investigate our world’s most pressing environmental challenges.
I’ve left the most important part for last–the teachers. In truth, good teachers are hard to find. A shared vision, a commitment to student learning, and the right people are an ideal combination, and with this working space and conditions, well-rounded, engaged, and inspired graduates wouldn’t be far behind. Some of my favorite teachers inspire students daily, think deeply about how to be better, and constantly innovate: Marc Gilbertson and Whitney Kaulbach, Chris Bologna, Cori Rockwood, Pat LaClair, Katie Bryant, and Nick Allen.
In the design of a new school, a fierce desire to inspire a culture of learning in students is necessary, and my dream is to recapture the adventure in that learning. By creating experiences for students that enable them to learn while doing, to feel valued in their opinions and ideas, and to foster their natural curiosities while exposing them to new ones, my dream school encompasses what it truly means to be educated.
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Montgomery, Blake. “The Maker Movement’s Influence: Photos From San Francisco’s Brightworks School (EdSurge News).” EdSurge. EdSurgehttps://www.edsurge.com/, 10 July 2016. Web. 03 Mar. 2017.
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