Many of our school friends are just getting started in school this week; we are already three weeks into our year! I just enjoyed my first sip of coffee for the morning. This is the time where I reflect on what we have done, and dream about the opportunities that lie ahead; both this year and into the future.
The conversation I’ve had most with students these first few weeks is about communication. Many take the “do, then ask for forgiveness” approach to get what they want. In my first-day meeting with the students, I emphasized that if you need to do something, ask your teacher, and more than likely you will get what you want. I’m encouraged that the faculty reinforces that viewpoint when I ask what their policies are. I’m hopeful that laying this groundwork will begin building successful student/teacher relationships, making the little things no big thing at all.
Looking to the future, we will begin the journey toward standards-based education (SBE) at our first in-service. I’m excited that I have two years to lead this systemic change, but nervous that that time has already started. Teachers will receive introductory information in our first in-service, then it will quickly be on to the work of adopting the philosophy, adapting our practices, and rolling out the new reporting system in fall 2017. This is a big undertaking, but there are so many supports. Books, YouTube videos, and research articles abound. There are professional resources on social media, such as the Teachers Throwing Out Grades and Standards-Based Learning pages on Facebook. Twitter followers can check out authors like @Rickwormeli2 and @kenoconnor, and #sblchat on Wednesday nights led by @Drjolly and @garnet_hillman. I know as our building begins it’s journey toward SBE, these resources, along with local leaders @nvprincipal and @patrabbitt will be invaluable to our work.
Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. – Stephen Hawking