Being True to Your Beliefs

If there is one thing I cannot stand, it’s wishy washiness.  (Is that a word? I made it one a few years ago.) When we are working on changing education, we cannot say we want openness one day and then shut down our openness the next. There are many things that are deal breakers for me in education today.  These are my MUSTS I would include if I’m starting a school from scratch or just trying to right the ship I’m on. (Not in any particular order.)recite-10h3jcn

  1. Communication. A two way street of communication for all stakeholders.  Not just a top-down approach.  Using the same language. “Yes, and” conversations instead of “Yes, but”. “I noticed, I wonder, What if” as reflection and as the point of moving forward.  Timely.
  2. Openness.  Open wifi to all participants in the learning environment. Open minds to new ideas.  Open spaces to accommodate learning.
  3. Devices in the hands of all learners.  Not just one device, but different devices for different jobs.
  4. Agency for all learners.  Not just the ones in the “seats”.  Also the ones guiding those “seats”.
  5. Curriculum that guides learning, not scripts it. Don’t put learning in boxes.  Allow the learners to navigate their way to and through the learning. ISTE standards as the foundation.  Project Based Learning and Design Thinking Process embedded in everything that learners do. Teaching learners to think for themselves.
  6. A mixture of right brain, left brained educators who are passionate about teaching and learning!  We need the dreamers to “dream big or go home” and we need the logical brains to help us put the dreams in motion. Those who are on the side of the learners, not the system. In fact, I’d get rid of the system and the game of school altogether.
  7. Play!  Kids need to play. Play board games, outdoor games, video games, make believe.  Play is not a bad word, it’s necessary for social, emotional and academic wellbeing.
  8. Flexible work environment for all.  Spaces that can transform into whatever learners need at the moment. Spaces for small group, individuals and large groups.  Space that is beautiful and inspires.  Space that is learner-created.
  9. Sustainability. Everyone one on board with creating sustainable practices both in and out of the brick and mortar school.
  10. Core Values that thread every decision and every experience together.  Buy in from all stakeholder to those core values.


  1. Alyssa Picard · March 1, 2017

    This is a masterpiece! I love your thinking. Oak Ridge is so fortunate to have such an innovative thinker on staff!


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