As educators, we have two seasons for rejuvenation. The summer offers us a chance for deep-reflection. And, the New Year offers a chance to re-commit to and reformulate intentions for the remainder of the school year.
Last year, I wrote that my resolution was to honor the understanding that every student learns differently. I’m still working on that resolution. So, this year, I asked a few friends from the One Schoolhouse consortium to share resolutions that either they have for the coming year or that educators generally should consider for resolutions.
I have two resolutions for the New Year for educators to consider. First, to incorporate more mindfulness strategies and physical activities for students and yourself in your classes (e.g., have Upper and Middle School students stand and take notes, create more learning centers in your classroom). Second, to find joy in your work, even in the hard moments.
– Terrie Hale Scheckelhoff, Head of School, St. Catherine’s School (Richmond, VA)
Amidst all the talk of big initiatives and bold thinking, let us not forget to value the most important thing in every school: the close and caring relationships that highly successful teachers create with students and their families. My resolution is to write a thank you note to a teacher every week to express gratitude for their work with students. Without great teachers, not one of even the most innovative or forward thinking education initiatives will ever succeed. – Rand Harrington, Head of School, Kent-Denver School (Englewood, CO)
There are two New Year’s resolutions on my list.: 1) To help us establish a new context for thinking about student learning and the student experience. 2) To support a more thorough and practical understanding among teachers and administrators of emerging competencies in order to foster educational experiences that are learner-driven, process-oriented, relevant, and catalytic.”
– Bob Bryan, Associate Head of School, Viewpoint School (Calabasas, CA)
I have two resolutions to consider: Don't be afraid of failure. At Lincoln School, we embrace iterative learning and encourage our students to dig into trial and error. Society often pressures girls to be perfect, but there’s no such thing: the process is as important as the result because in life there is rarely just one answer. In the coming year, we are committed to keeping our Quaker values of peace, equity, and inclusion at top of mind as we educate girls and young women to be our society's future innovators, pioneers, and leaders.
– Suzanne Fogarty, Head of School, Lincoln School (Providence, RI)
Thank you to some of our consortium partners for their wise words. Here’s to 2017. What’s your resolution?
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Brad Rathgeber (he/him/his)