Imagine a School

Imagine a school where kids burst through the doors Ready to learn and dream and explore Inspired to DO because they know that they CAN.   Imagine a school¬†full of kids who know Only the word “yes”, they’ve never heard “no” YES you should try, YES you might fail, YES we believe in you.   Imagine a school where there’s no me vs. you Where we success is something we achieve as a crew It might also be cheering as that one person pulls through Toward a goal they’d not reached before.   Someday, I want to work at this … Continue reading Imagine a School

Mission Accomplished

Cohort 7, we’ve made it. Like the original Apollo astronauts, we started full of enthusiasm, though not exactly knowing where we were heading or how it would turn out. via GIPHY OUR JOURNEY Course 1 had us consider our network and reach out to each other to help it grow. We learned about responsible use of technology and social media in Course 2. Then Course 3 brought us both Zen and CRAAP Design Principles. And we SAMR’d our lessons and considered the what, why, and how of our profession in Course 4. And here we are tying a bow … Continue reading Mission Accomplished

Back on Board

I was so excited for Course 5. I had the opportunity to teach a brand new class at our school. One loosely based on the Math Studies curriculum, but that allowed for more flexibility with use of blogging, reflecting, spreadsheets, collaborative and project-based assessment. My first unit all UbDesigned and planned. All set and ready for my final CoETAIL project. And then one kid signed up. One. It was enough to make me… via GIPHY …or at least give up. Give up on CoETAIL. ūüė¶ I have to give credit to my network for picking me up A personal … Continue reading Back on Board

Many Hands Make Light Work

I travelled again to Iceland this past week with a group of 21 kids. Without a doubt it was the best trip I’ve yet had. Though I’m sure the fantastic weather and Northern Lights had a lot to do with the kids’ great attitudes, I couldn’t be prouder of their determination, focus, passion, and compassion. They smiled through all the hard work and asked for more of it as they widened and improved trails, shovelled and moved gravel and rocks, built a willow garden and turf wall, dug out ditches to improve drainage, trimmed willow bushes in campsites and turned … Continue reading Many Hands Make Light Work

Curiosity Inspired that Cat

How does life live? Can girls be robots? Why do worms have faces? How do you make water? Are you old, mom? What is mean and nice? Where did you find me when I was a baby? How does food turn into poop? Kids are naturally curious. They ask 1000s of questions. They both annoy and astound us with their questions. To parents, it seems like it may never stop. But then they go to school and it does. And that’s the worst. Why does that happen? I don’t know the answer, but I suspect schools are to … Continue reading Curiosity Inspired that Cat

Stats with Empathy: Course 4 Final Project

We are redesigning the non-exam track of our 11th and 12th grade math courses next year, and I am excited to be able to take on these new courses. Our plan is to use some of the IB/DP Math Studies curriculum, while making it more accessible and useful to a group of students who have typically struggled with math. There are two things that excite me about this new course. 1. Math Studies is a great course. I’ve taught it now for 6 years. For some kids it’s the first time they really understand why they’ve had to learn math. … Continue reading Stats with Empathy: Course 4 Final Project

What Problems Do You Want To Solve?

As a little girl, my parents and teachers used to ask¬†me “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Oddly enough, it was a paralyzing question. If everything is possible, how do you choose?¬†How can you even choose¬†what, when you don’t even know¬†why? “What Problems Do You Want to Solve?” Refugees. Clean Water. Literacy. Poverty. Climate Change. Clean Energy. Trash in the Oceans. Air Pollution. Housing. Bees. War. Parking. Transportation. Depression. Cancer. Nutrition. Diabetes. Bullying. Etc. Etc. Etc. What if, instead of asking kids what they want to be, we started asking them what problems they want to … Continue reading What Problems Do You Want To Solve?

Power to your People

People are your school. People are the system. People make things happen. — George Couros, author of The Innovator’s Mindset Just as each leaf, each branch, each root and piece of bark¬†contributes to the beauty of this tree, so does each member contribute to making a school what it is.¬†Great schools not only draw out the best from their people, but celebrate their talents and encourage growth. Schools are¬†full of teacher-experts: experts in their fields, experts in pedagogy, experts in collaboration or organization, even experts in some activity or hobby. Here are some thoughts as to how you can¬†nurture those … Continue reading Power to your People