Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Starting from scratch

I'm transferring from the Think Tank to a brand new school. The newness is palpable- wide, empty hallways, furniture trickling in, an empty library begging to be filled with books, classrooms that have never been inhabited by children. Right now it's a big, empty, building that reflects the promise of a school but isn't there yet- how can you have a school without children?

In a meeting today one of our administrators stopped us to remind us that we are starting from scratch. We don't have to do anything because "that's the way we've always done it". Instead we get to refocus, step back and look at where we're all coming from, reflect on our previous experiences, identify what works and what doesn't work for kids, and then create systems and practices that are truly meaningful.

It's an amazing opportunity- to be able to stop and question every practice we've ever used or been taught and to ask ourselves- what is the meaning behind this? Why am I doing this? How is this best for kids? What's holding it back from being more effective?

It's a blank building with blank walls, empty classrooms, and a fresh start. A chance for us, as educators, to step into practices that truly mean something.

It's not going to be easy, but I have a feeling we're all going to grow as educators in ways we aren't even sure exist yet.

I can't wait.


timstahmer said...

Does that mean you can throw out the SOLs and start from scratch creating more meaningful assessments as well? ;-)

Had to ask.

organized chaos said...

*sigh* thanks for the reality check.