I wonder what school was like for each child in our school district today?
On Wednesday, during a visit with some very keen grade seven students at one of our schools in Creston, I enjoyed a detailed tour of a model depicting Ancient Mesopotamia. The model was built with well considered detail, and obviously a great deal of thought and research. Two students were my tour guides, and they explained to me how they had learned about this culture, and how they decided what needed to be included in the model. We spoke quite a bit about how human beings survived in those times, and how the culture was similar or different from our own. Then one of the students surprised me when he pointed to a character in the model and said, “See, that’s me.” When I asked the other tour guide which character in the model was him, he said with some glee, “I am the king!”
My immediate thought after that interaction was, “I wonder how many students in our school district are this immersed in their learing experiences today?”
Our work is complex. Placed into our care are capable human beings from diverse backgrounds. We seek to understand their gifts, their talents, their unique genius – and help them to uncover the questions of our time, as they evolve into contributing citizens who participate in the world according to choices they are equipped to make. We work with the highly capable, the spirited, the curious, and those who challenge our intellect, our processes and our structures. We receive into our care the broken hearted, the mistreated and abused, the marginalized and those who struggle with fundamental basic skills.
So, what will our legacy be? When historians look back at public education in the 21st century what story will they see? I hope they will be able to see a story of dedicated and professional educators. I hope they will be able to see that we were able to adapt to changing needs of our students over time – because we can. I hope they will be able to see that our practices were informed by exemplary professional research.
I still wonder though – what would a child tell us about what school was like today?