Imagine a School

Two teachers in my school–Suzanne and Deb–encouraged me to take on the Slice of Life Challenge.  I have known them for many years, but until this year I worked in another building.  It is my privilege to work more closely with them now.  I did not realize that it would lead to this experience of reading and enjoying each other’s writing while connecting with so many other dedicated teachers and writers.

Suzanne and Deb are already familiar with something I am including below.  They serve on a committee with me, and we are working together to craft as grand as possible a vision for our school while grounding it in meaningful, substantive practice.  We have already begun to make modest movement in the direction of this vision.

With other thoughtful educators reading, I wonder if I might ask what my committee could add to what we imagine for our school.  Please feel free to make suggestions.

Imagine a school…

…where each year the flow of effort becomes more unified, where drudgery is diminished, and teachers’ time and care truly serves the children.

…in which a sensible pace leaves no one in fear of falling behind.

…with students who lead classroom routines as their age and readiness permit.

…that promotes a unified expectation of calm, order, and respect.

…whose activities and learning give children something more sustaining than the idleness they crave in the absence of genuine attention and care.

…in which children instruct as much as the teachers.

…whose teachers learn as much as the students.

…where anyone’s ideas can change everyone’s experience.

…whose mission addresses what we will become as much as it does what we must learn.

…to which we long to come each morning.

…where all people feel valued and important.

…that makes us part of something greater than ourselves.

6 thoughts on “Imagine a School

  1. This is what a vision should be- I love the balance between teachers and students- both teaching and learning in a milieu of respect and care. You asked for suggestions- so I will frame my technologist attitude in words similar to your committees (I hope)- “imagine a school where preparation for tomorrow means the use of authentic tools and not the chase for the allure of fads.”

  2. I have always thought that a school garden would be wonderful; perhaps raised beds in the courtyard that are the responsibility of the students? I also think continued and growing responsibility in procedures/serving/clean-up in the cafeteria would help instill a keener sense of ownership and investment in that part of each child’s day. Lastly, of course I have to put in a plug for increased yoga, mindfulness, meditation – school wide! Not sure about the details, but just tossing out ideas… Thank you for asking!!!!

    1. These are excellent ideas that I would like to work into the broader language that I have established in the passage. For this reason, the details are not necessary. Thanks, Deb.

  3. I’ll tap into two of your recent posts and add an idea from a conversation I had today with my class:
    Imagine a school where sustaining work outweighs consuming work.
    where meaningful pastimes are pursued during free time.
    where student effort results in positive outcomes because it is genuine effort!
    Great idea to throw your ideas out to the world and see how they flourish!

    1. I was reluctant to use my own pet vocabulary in this particular passage, but at your suggestion, I might. While I have your ideas represented already, they are not coming through as clearly as they should. Thanks, Suzanne.

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