”The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
During the past 14 months of the Covid Pandemic, the American Public Education system walked into the room of self-reflection, looked into the mirror and said, ¨Who am I?¨ and ¨How did I get here?¨Many educators, parents and most importantly, students (of all ages) — are now, more than ever, questioning norms that have ruled the educational setting for the last two centuries. What is right, what is wrong and what have we been doing for far too long? One thing that we can ALL agree on is that our approach to education must change.
When I think about the future of education, my mind immediately goes into game mode— so that I can help all children perform to their full potential. As a former coach, I understand that selecting the best players to start the game increases the chances for a positive outcome for the entire team. Choosing the right ¨starting five¨is so important as we attack education during the post pandemic era. I am ready to lead my team into the future so all children can reach their full potential. Meet my starting five —
And now for your “Equity Bulldogs”…
Coming all the way from the beginning of time, using the smallest unit of sound, helping 95% of all students to become literate, strengthening the reading skills of students with dyslexia… number 44— The Science of Reading! (If we are truly serious about changing the narrative of illiteracy that has hinder the lives of many people, especially black and brown folk… SOR must be on the team)
Next up – Hailing from the heart and soul of each child, teaching children how to cope with the challenges of life, rooted in self-confidence, normalizing the mental health conversation… number 34— Social and Emotional Learning! (Our children are facing more and more traumatic situations that are causing lasting effects up and through their adulthood. We have to intentionally implement SEL for all students to give them a strong foundation for life.)
Next – Standing tall against oppression, dismantling the ills that have haunted millions of people, speaking the truth to power, making sure all children have a fair opportunity to learn… number 1— Anti-Racist Learning Environment! (If we plan to eradicate the system that caused the unfair treatment of melanin people since 1619, all racist policies, laws and people must be removed from the education system)
Protecting the creativity of all children, stressing the importance of completion over correction, encouraging growth over grades, more concerned about mastery over mistakes… number 23— Project Based Learning! (We all know that the current 130 year old grading system is outdated and does not accurately show the results of learning. Educating children on the assembly line of learning is not what we need anymore. Let students work on projects that help them explore what life has to offer.)
Last but not least – The person in the middle that allows children to work in the environment that best suits them, the creator of in-person, virtual and hybrid, public, catholic or charter, from the land of whatever works best… number 3— Choice! (Education has changed. Children have evolved. Parents want input. The cookie cutter educational system is not allowing children to reach their full potential. Now is the time to allow families to find out what works best for their child(ren).)
And if we want to give our fans aka taxpayers, a chance to cheer for our students, we must develop a product that they can be proud of!
Now it’s time for tip off— Let’s get ready to rumbbbbbbbbbbble!