In visiting classrooms I have observed how students and teachers were involved in the dance of learning. Tasks designed, students engaged, plans adapted, classroom cultures developed. This collective work is who we are as a school, as a learning community.
I have known, and my observations this month have confirmed, that a school is more than the sum of its parts. Those that have bemoaned the creation of “starter schools” have missed the point. A school is the people that inhabit it, not the walls that constrain it. WillowPark didn’t disappear because they temporarily moved, their identity became stronger. In the same way any school that I visit exudes an indescribable yet palatable sense of the culture of the building.
A welcome, art on the wall, how students interact, and the sound of each classrooms learning buzz are all part of this cultural feel. This month I moved through my own school and tried to sense the building as a visitor. I saw how our school is a place where children are valued, a place where we all try to do our best and a place where learning is an experience shared by both the children and adults. That is what I learned today.
Alastair Wilson (@agwilsonca), Principal of Douglasdale School. Loves recess, happy kid sounds and the collected works of Jimmy Buffett.