Thursday, April 17, 2014

8 things I'd like to change in schools

I'd like to see fewer walls. I think walls are limiting and confining and make it way too easy for silos to form. Information is stymied and doesn't flow well when walls prevent the information transfer. When we tear down walls, a whole new world becomes possible.

A shift away from traditional report cards and more conversations and presentations demonstrating realistic evidence of learning and mastery.
I wish we would realize that fair isn't always equal. We know that every student is different, therefore it seems rather silly and almost moronic to try and teach and assess each student the same way and call that fair.

I'd like to hear fewer bells and fewer signals that supposedly tell us when to start learning and when to stop learning. The concept that learning should stop and start like turning on or turning off a light is obsolete and we should be moving toward authentic and realistic learning.

It would also be nice if we made a conscious effort to increase physical activity and movement in the educational setting. The benefits of movement on cognitive processes and overall health are indisputable. While we are talking about health, why can't we make breakfast and lunch learning experiences where kids learn about lifelong health and the process that must occur to bring food to the proverbial table.

District and building policies can be a blessing, while at other times they can be monumental roadblocks. It would be worthy and very positive if we figured out a way to not policy ourselves to death. People get deflated and overwhelmed when they feel like policy is driving every decision they make. Remember, education is about individuals doing things for other individuals.

Zero tolerance anything should be avoided... schools shouldn't treat students and situations that happen at school in absolutism. There is very little that is black and white in education thus each situation and each student needs to be treated consistently on an individual basis.

A complete elimination of the focus being on adults. I know we adults are important, but when we make decisions based on what's best for adults, we tend to forget and miss out on what's best for kids. Keep the kids first and you can't go wrong.