Every year during November, classrooms around the country focus on thankfulness. What are we truly grateful for? I thought I’d add one quick post highlighting just a bit of what I’m thankful for in relation to our new way of teaching and learning – FCPSon.
I’m thankful for
- Equity. The students in the pyramid are suddenly on equal footing. I keep thinking back to that study that shows the vocabulary discrepancy between students in need and their peers. I’d venture a guess that there is a similar divide in 21st century skills. Students who only have access to research tools, organization tools, collaborative tools, etc when they are in school and when teachers schedule a lab time for them will continue to fall behind their peers who can access these any time, in and out of school. Now, students in our pyramid have that field leveled in front of them. Students have equal access to these tools and are learning so much, so quickly.
- Risk Taking. I’m so thankful for the leadership of my Principal and the faith of the teachers in our school. They are stepping outside of their comfort zone, redesigning their spaces and their lessons. Learning from one another and trying new ways of learning. Students are taking risks and trying new ways of learning. They aren’t sitting and listening as much; they are doing and making meaning. It’s a wonderful change and really very scary for many of them. They are not letting that fear stop them though. We are supporting every way we can and asking what people need to provide even more support.
- Leadership. It’s incredible to see the leadership at all levels in our district working together to make this change for all students and teachers. I’ve been in this district for a long time and I’ve watched initiative after initiative come and go. This is incredible because we are all working together to make changes at every level – changes like the revision to our Learning Model, changes like the blended learning cohorts, changes like the concept based curriculum, our focus on PBL and the instructional framework all are pushing for this work for all students.
- Excitement. I’ve gotten notes from teachers, heard from students and leaders in our district about just how excited they are about what is happening in our school this year. Getting a note from a teacher that says I’m excited about teaching again just makes my day. Another teacher shared a note stating these students are pretty cool people, after seeing some of their creative work in a project based learning unit.
There is more that I’m thankful for… this certainly is just a small highlight. I’m so excited for what is yet to come in our 2nd quarter and throughout this year!