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Friday, May 13, 2016

Skipping Down the Halls

This morning as I thought ahead to a couple days of teacher talk, ideas, and vision, I wanted to capture the essence of what I believe in when it comes to teaching children well. The phrase, "skipping down the hall," struck me because we want children to have that happy, positive spark in school. We want children to want to come to school, and when they are there we want them to have good, positive energy. We want school to be that home away from home--a place where children and their educators come together to teach and learn. The exuberance demonstrated in this video of one of our school programs depicts the energy I'm talking about.

As I think about the past year and years of teaching, I am thinking about the learning opportunities that led to that positivity, and the teaching events that didn't lead to good attitudes, collaboration, and learning.

Positive Relationships
Of course, to begin with it's the relationship--letting students and their families know that you care about who they are and what they do. Making time to build that positive learning community.

Loose-Tight Programs
Next, it's the program. Creating a strong loose-tight program that results in meaningful learning--
  • learning to learn
  • learning knowledge, concept, and skill
  • learning that every individual is valuable and capable, capable of learning anything they put their mind to.
Sensitive, Responsive Coaching
After that it's the careful, sensitive, and responsive coaching. Making the time to help each child move forward. This requires collaboration of teacher/student, parent/teacher, teacher/teacher, teacher/leader. We have to work together with sensitivity to one another to support each and every child's progress.

Important Details
Then it's the details including quality resources, learning/teaching spaces, playgrounds, signage, professional learning, and more.

Supportive Patterns
Finally it's the daily, weekly, and yearly patterns that support the good work possible, the systems that ensure that we do what's possible to teach and learn well.