As an educational leader and lifelong learner, I am always working towards improving as superintendent of schools. Currently, I am reading a book called Kids Deserve It!: Pushing Boundaries and Challenging Conventional Thinking by authors Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome. During my reading, I often find myself thinking about the students in our district and what they deserve.
Although these reflections often extend to staff, parents and community, here are some of my district level thoughts on what our students deserve:
Kids deserve safe schools where 21st-century learning can take place in updated facilities. We are educating the future leaders of our communities and world. Students should have equal access to engaging educational environments where collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving and creation are fostered through adequate learning spaces and technology.
Kids deserve a thorough education that prepares them for their futures and allows them to successfully compete with students and graduates from other schools. Before technology, knowledge was power. Today, knowledge is everywhere and creation is power. We want our students to investigate problems, find solutions, create, innovate, connect globally and change the world.
Kids deserve schools that are the focal points of their communities, places where people come together to celebrate, share and learn. The African proverb so accurately states, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Together we can create educational synergy and accomplish much more than would ever be possible alone. When we come together to share our stories and experiences, we leave with a better understanding of the people in the world around us.
Kids deserve welcoming school cultures that encourage risk-taking, experimentation, reflection, iteration and innovation. Failure is an important step in learning anything new. Often times, we learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. Students should follow their educational passions and believe that the only true failure is the failure to learn from past mistakes.
Those are my initial thoughts on what kids deserve at the district level. What are yours?