Starting from Scratch #IMMOOC

Tight flickr photo by Qwedgeonline shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license

If I were to create a school, I’d fill it with trust. Trust among faculty. Trust between teachers and parents. Trust between teachers and students. Trust among students. Trust between the school and the community.

I get it. Trust is earned, never given. So it would take time to fill. But I’d never stop trying. I’d encourage everyone to try something new. To trust the process. To trust that failing is part of learning. That trust takes time and hard work and causes egos to be bruised and feelings to get hurt.

As the school is being filled with trust, it would become a place where everyone could take (responsible) risks. It would become a place where individual strengths would become collective strengths. Where weaknesses would lead to learning, to discovery, to passions being uncovered. School would become a place where people couldn’t wait to be and where no one would ever want to leave.

“Trust each other again and again. When the trust level gets high enough, people transcend apparent limits, discovering new and awesome abilities of which they were previously unaware.” – David Armistead

What’s Wrong with Science Fairs?


It’s not that I have something against science fairs. What I have a problem with is how students in 2017 are expected to showcase their scientific, mathematical, and written knowledge.

I’ve been teaching in one district for 19 years now, and students are still using tri-fold display boards just like they did my first year as a 6th grade teacher. The format hasn’t changed much, yet how I students present other knowledge had changed immensely.

From now on, just say no to display boards and yes to the numerous other engaging ways to share our learning.