This week a friend posted the question, “What do you crave?” As you know, I love great questions and I really stopped to think. What is it that I crave? In my own life, in my school, in education, for my friends and colleagues, in the schools my life touches…
I crave transformation.
Educators weren’t put onto this planet to merely maintain status quo; we were put onto this planet to make a difference!
And, of course, sometimes I wish I could just crave ice cream.
Alas, I crave transformation!
We wrote about taking on difficult challenges and how to do it in our manifesto: boldly breaking through challenges with courage and confidence!
But, the hardest part about transformation is that I can’t see it! I can’t see the process of the caterpillar transforming into the butterfly, except by looking back on the long struggle. I can’t see it day-to-day.
I thought about what I wrote last week, “I realize my breath today is given for a purpose [transformation]. I take simple steps to walk into my purpose [transformation]. My reason for being is greater than I am….”
Simple steps. Small steps.
The transformation for education, for schools, for educators, for students, how are we getting there?
One LearnForward step we’re taking to transform the experience of students is through personalizing our learning environment. Step-by-step. Personalizing.
There are a number of ways we are personalizing:
1. Fair is not equal – We teach students (and parents) that we are providing each child what he/she needs to be successful. It may not be equal, but it is fair.
2. Literacy Learning on Level – Each younger student knows what a “good fit” book is for them, has personal reading and writing goals, and is pursuing their own literacy development with choice and self-direction.
3. Passion projects – This is also known as genius hour, a time where older students can pursue their own inquiries.
4. Individualized Goal Setting – Learners throughout our community have individual goals. We are working to ensure that each learner is on a journey to achieve their goals, with parents and educators as support! I wrote about the key role parents play in supporting children in their goals of moving towards independence earlier this fall.
There are many ways we are reaching towards the transformative power of personalized learning for students throughout our school.
We dig deep and ask our students to do the same. We’re on a journey of learning together…step-by-step. Students lead the way.
But, what happens when it looks imperfect? When we aren’t sure if it is working? When a child’s natural instincts towards curiosity and creativity aren’t activated? When the ability to focus or connect holds a child back? What happens when we can’t see the transformation happening?
We all, parents, teachers, and principals, around the world, can use a powerful word of hope…
It can sound like, “The child isn’t ready…yet.” or “He isn’t able to…yet.” or “The work doesn’t demonstrate______yet.” or “She hasn’t achieved that…yet.”
“Yet” declares that the learning is coming! It is courageous enough to believe that the relationship, the competencies, the skills are coming! We believe…
Our community is built on faith + hope + love.
It will come!
I know I have some “work in progress” issues in my life. They range from the work I still want to do on this very LearnForward website to deeper and more personal pursuits. I am just whispering to myself, “I’m just not there…yet.”
Can we go step-by-step towards the transformation of our learning communities? Can we personalize learning for each student and be on a personal journey of mastery? Where are the places in your life or the life of your child where you can use that powerful word of “…yet”?
I wish each of you a wonderful week!
For the sake of the children,