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“How do you decide what to change at a school?” asked an Upper School parent at a recent Parent Association meeting. Her brief but profound question has stuck with me for the past several weeks.
There has been considerable discussion about “21st Century Learning,” but what exactly does that term mean? The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) has devoted considerable resources to defining 21st Century Learning and recognizing forward-thinking schools. The NAIS has recently identified eight themes consistent with a successful “school of the future.”
I write this column just days after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newton, Conn. My heart aches as yet another headline announces still another series of funerals. Though I sent a note via email to all of you immediately following this incident, I feel that some of what I conveyed bears repeating and further exposition.
“Teacher-leaders do not necessarily fit the leader-as-hero stereotype. Instead, they offer unique assets that come from the power of relationships.”
~ Gordon Donaldson, “Teachers as Leaders,” Journal of Educational Leadership
Why do young children have enthusiasm for trying new things and excitement for persisting in their efforts? As children grow older, why does this confidence often wane and become replaced by reticence?
New teaching methods, driven by a deeper understanding of learning and advancements in learning technologies, continue to transform our classrooms at all grade levels. Here is a sampling of some new methods currently being used in Blake classrooms:
Although it is generally agreed to be a difficult task, the latest push toward performance-based compensation for teachers has pressed policy makers to better define “good teaching” and to find metrics to differentiate between “good” and “great.” Research supports what we have known for decades: great teachers matter.