Day 184 (of 184) not the same
I can safely say that one of my goals and objectives as an educational leader is to have my students/kids learning experiences are different from the experience I had in school. I’m okay with things being different:
Learning is not the same – with all of the information we have on the brain, on mental health, on pedagogy, how could it be the same? Blended (asynchronous) learning should not be a package of questions and a textbook as the classroom experience moves further away from ‘a’ text approaches.
Classrooms not the same. They are not the same from school to school just as they have never been the same walking down a hallway. Some of the differences have been justified as being different based on classroom grade, but really they tend to reflect the classroom culture than just the ‘grade’. Instead I think about classroom design & flow – how the teachers and students work with each other in a variety of sub-environments to enhance the learning journeys.
Schools are not the same. Our school has a significant focus on anxiety – this year emphasizing physical literacy and technology to support eportfolio assessment. But I know other schools that are still debating technology in the classrooms (a moot discussion in my opinion) and others that continue to focus on readin’ ritin’ and rithmetic’ (a quote and presentation from Andy Hargreaves helped me understand that we are very fortunate in Canada (and especially in BC) where so many of our schools can look beyond the traditional 3Rs to set school goals and look at music, dance, science, and more – like anxiety awareness and physical literacy! Not to mention how schools continue to evolve into learning communities as they more and more inter-connect with the community around it – be it an art-focused community, urban or rural, these learning hubs need to reflect the ‘people in the neighbourhood’ (Sesame Street reference) and the neighbourhood overall!
Websites the same? For some reason the past three districts I have been part of want to have standardized school sites to link up and look similar to the district page. It always baffled me because I always believed the websites should be unique and reflect the school! Once upon a time I ‘borrowed’ an old espn website template to establish a video presence with categorized education links (instead of sports links) that reflected what we were doing. I’ve had my ‘hand slapped’ a couple of times in the past, but I feel that the hand slapping is becoming less and less in our virtual education environments…! After all, websites are portals to reflect collective individualities – and even though I worked very closely with my mentors, even our online presences are very different….just need better tools to enhance the web experience for our learners and extended learning community partners!
I have heard several times that the education experience across the province is ‘equal and the same’. Having worked in a variety of communities and districts I can confidently say that whole the Prescribed Learning Outcomes are the same, how they are introduced and worked with is very different – much in a similar way that our learners are all uniquely different as well! Sometimes not being the same is more than okay!