Last summer my school applied for and was selected as one of 14 schools in the state of Kansas with the mission to redesign what school means in the 21st century. We were given permission to reflect on and change anything we felt would truly make the greatest impact on our students. After conversations with the state and the district we only had a couple of rules:
- We had to stick with our current beginning and ending times for the day (district)
- There would be no additional funds for this redesign (state)
- We had to stick within the current state standards (both)
For more information from the state check out: http://www.ksde.org/Agency/Fiscal-and-Administrative-Services/Communications-and-Recognition-Programs/Vision-Kansans-Can/School-Redesign
I am one part in this giant cog of change and redesign. It has been at times challenging, exhausting, frustrating and rewarding all at the same time. And we aren’t even close to finished.
Personally, the biggest way this has impacted my teaching is it has forced me to reflect on everything I do. I’m constantly asking myself why I teach a lesson a certain way, use a certain novel, or even why I teach novels at all. It’s definitely a humbling and scary question to ask myself everyday: why? Why is this important for my students and how do I want this lesson to impact their lives after they leave my classroom?
Over the next few weeks I’ll share some of my current teaching questions I’m wrestling with. Please feel free to share, post, comment, and question. Part of the way I grapple with things is to talk about it with others, and chances are that your insights will either challenge me to rethink my philosophies or allow me to strengthen my beliefs on certain topics.
I always tell my students at the end of every video, and I think it’s fitting here:
Until next time…book it forward…and be awesome!