Sunday, February 26, 2017

Important Ideas and Initiatives to Consider

As I read many social media threads about education daily, I wonder how our system will embrace the following important initiatives and ideas.

I believe our system needs to embrace coding with greater depth and commitment at grades K-5. This can be integrated in engaging way that builds proficiency with coding, mathematical thinking, and problem solving skills.

Sustainable Living
There have been many extraordinary teacher and parent volunteer efforts to build this work in our school, but to truly do a good job requires staffing that has the time and some budget for this work. To do well with this will also take administrative support with regard to curriculum efforts and decisions. For example, while this work is a direct match to fifth grade science standards, the work, to date, has not been supported or embraced in that regard. As educators we have tight expectations with little room left over to embrace this important life-enriching teaching and learning. All around our community are organizations and people willing to support these efforts, but most require some funding so it would be important to look for ways to build this into the budget. I don't think it has to be extra money, but I believe that we can reroute current dollars to support this effort well in our schools.

The school is working to embed greater SEL and mindfulness efforts. There has been some effort to enlist teacher voice and choice in this endeavor. I hope that inclusivity will continue as these efforts grow so rather than an add-on as some efforts have been, they will be embedded into our standards-based efforts in natural and positive ways.

Project Based Learning
I think that we have to be mindful that our curriculum is not too slanted in the direction of skill acquisition over deep, holistic project based learning. It needs to be a mix of both, and hopefully we can move towards bringing back and improving some of the rich project based learning that we utilized so well in the past.

Talking about What Matters
I hope we can elevate the way we create, communicate, and collaborate in schools so that most of our together time is strategically used to share meaningful ideas and build good teaching/learning experiences for our students and their families.

Continued Analysis of Roles, Structures, and Routines
How can we best use the roles, structures, and routines available to foster the best possible education for every child. As I look around I see room for change and growth in these areas--change and growth that could potentially develop our collective ability to teach every child well.