Monday, November 24, 2008

I attended the NCTE session by Karl Fisch on Saturday. I left with a sense of urgency. Some time ago I had seen the original video Karl put together. The one he shared in the session had some new thoughts added. It was great to watch.

I appreciate Karl's thinking. He said that it is not about covering the content but about students uncovering understanding. So smart! I am thinking about how we can build intellectual curiosity at our school.

He shared a great quote from Hellen Keller.

"It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision."

We have been working very hard this year on our school's vision. We created it the summer after the first year our school was open. At our summer retreat, we had students join the staff to collaborate on the vision statement for our school. The kids were amazing and really helped us create a meaningful vision statement.

Here it is:

Glacier Ridge Elementary is a learning community with high expectations dedicated to inspiring children to find a passion for learning in a safe and kind environmenbt that celebrates diversity, promotes leadership and encourages the unlimited potential of the whole child.

There is always the danger of a mission statement and/or vision statement lacking any influence or impact on the learning community. It's important that we understand the words we have put together in our vision statement and continually look for the influence it has on the way we teach, learn and live together.

This year we are "unpacking" the vision statement by looking at each phrase and brainstorming what it "looks like" and "sounds like" at our school. It has given us time to celebrate what we are accomplishing but it opens many opportunities to think about our goals and what we want our school to be.

Karl's presentation adds a whole new dimension to our thinking - a set of new eyes to view the vision statement and think about the impact it could have on 21st Century learning.