21st century schools

The vision committee I’m a part of just shared a presentation with our faculty based on our site visits to California, about the ideas we’re bringing back to our campus.

It brought back to me the excitement of the trip, the excitement of feeling like a education professional, and the excitement of believing that so many of us on our campus have so many untapped passions and abilities.   At the end of the presentation, we ask:


I have to admit, and this isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned this, that the one thing I am over-the-top excited about is thinking about opportunities for cross-curricular connections that would take our curriculum to a new level and engage students in a whole new way where ideas relate to one another, not just in one great class, but all day long.   I believe the library can play a large role in that, and I also feel it’s the way we all learn in “real” life.

I don’t exactly know what I am envisioning or looking for in terms of “school” yet, but I know what it feels like–it feels dynamic, it feels like there is a “buzz” when you walk in the door of the school because something exciting is happening there,  it feels like students and teachers alike are enthused to be there, it feels like people listen to and support one another, it feels like we work as a team.

I’ve always thought it would be exciting to work at a dotcom company–maybe it used to be my secret ambition, and I think the reason was that “buzz” and excitement that you sense in those environments….you can feel the innovation oozing from the walls and in the corridors.

innovation.jpg   And I’d also like the library to have that “buzz”–(which some days it does)–of students and teachers in an innovative physical space, working together, talking, reading, creating, and sharing their excitement about learning.  

I see the infusion of technology as a big part of that for our students, because it is a natural part of their lives, and feeling innovative is exciting to them, and excitement creates enthusiasm for learning.

So what I come to work every day for is that enthusiasm for learning–I see my job as trying to support that in the classroom as much as I can.  

slide2.JPG    I also want teachers to use the library as “their” space and not see it as “my space,” (pardon the pun), and to see it as a real resource for learning, reading, meeting, conferencing, etc.  I want our new facility design and policies to reflect that.

That’s my “vision.”   What’s yours?

One thought on “21st century schools

  1. It is obvious that Westlake teachers have wonderful skills when it comes to technology. We must not forget that there are some really great teachers where technology is a bit overwhelming. As a campus we do a great job of offering a variety of technolgy trainings for teachers. We need to make sure everyone catches that “buzz” because it is very exciting.

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