We all talk about "If I was in charge..." or "If I could decide..." then this is what school would be like. Well, here are my ideas, unfinished, a lot of wishful thinking and yet powerful in their simplicity.
My school would have less walls, more carpets for laying down and many nooks and crannies for self-reflection.
My school would have less bells, more time to explore and not so set schedules of when one class ends and another begins.
It would have farmers connected to teach students about food and to celebrate where food comes from and teachers would be given the time to collaborate and even teach each other's classes because they are all our children.
My school would have windows that could be opened and fields that beckoned for exploration. There would be desks of course, but also stand up tables, shelves, couches and beanbags for students to choose from.
Curriculum dreams would come true meaning standards would be followed but not shoved down our throats and we would have enough time to update our learning quests.
Questions would be posed from the students and then time given to find the answers.
Engagement would be evident, as would loudness and excitement. And that is just talking about the teachers not to mention the students.
There would be real accountability, urgency, and a shared goal for progress. Results would be discussed and reflected upon, not just noted and scored.
Collaboration between grades and level would be expected as would the sharing of resources.
Students would be heard as equals and parents would be brought in to discuss change and direction and actually be listened to.
There would be no grades, just progress and feedback. No homework other than meaningful projects and punishment would not be integrated either. We would have to to build community and discuss behavior.
My school would be for all students and students with special needs would be given the resources they need. Teachers who work with them would be given the time to do so right.
Technology would be used to connect with the world and strengthen students voices, but books would also have a home as would pen and paper. There is no need for either or at my school.
We would be flexible but firm and have a clear vision. A vision that we all created together and that never became stagnant.
My school would be a place where everyone knew they could learn, where no one was just passed through the system, where students actually were listened to as were teachers.
My school may only exist in my imagination, but many ideas I can implement into my classroom already. I cannot wait.