I have the great opportunity to work with 12 staff members at the Leading Our Way Forward Conference in Edmonton. Alberta. I really believe in the power of school leadership teams going to professional development together to share best practices and how we can best implement them. When I speak of “school leadership teams”, I believe that all staff can be leaders in areas that they are passionate about. My team consists of teachers, educational assistants, a librarian, and school administration. Working together and building from different viewpoints is something that is imperative to school success.
Here are some of the thoughts and questions that I have on different topics that have been discussed this morning.
Who is your customer?
This was an interesting question that was posed and ultimately I know the answer. Students are always the customer in education. Sometimes however, parents believe that they are the customer first. I would not say that they are NOT the customer, but a school focus and a parent focus should always be the same. What is best for kids?
My belief is that parents are partners in education and should always be listened to. They have a say in the direction of the school but it is important that we help guide them to what students are wanting in their education. Communication is key and letting them have a voice and understanding in the process is important to the success of the school community.
What will our school look like in 2020?
This is a question that often bothers me. It immediately leads many people to the thoughts of the technology in the building. This should not be the focus. It should be on the environment that can be created to best engage kids in their own learning and have them as active participants in the classroom. I have no idea what technology will be available nor do I care. I do however care about how we can kids to connect locally and globally and be active learners. Students who learn to learn is what I envision. This can happen right now. It does not have to wait ten years.
Helping kids to connect
As I have shared previously, the power of Twitter has helped me to connect with so many educators who share my viewpoints in the school. I also think that students should have the opportunity to connect with others around the world to learn from different viewpoints and cultures. This is something that is very powerful and beneficial to learning. Doing this in a safe and effective way is what we need to work with kids on. Digital Citizenship is something that all schools should be continuously working on and not just “throw” students into the fire without working with them on learning how to be safe. I would never throw a student into the park without teaching them about safety, nor would I totally shut the park down because there could be some safety concerns. We need to be the same way with technology. Teach kids how to be safe in both the virtual and real worlds.
Great start to the conference and I am looking forward to more work with my team!