By John Clements, Principal of Nipmuc Regional High School
Across the nation this month, students and teachers have made their way back to classrooms with a mix of excitement about the new year, anxiety about the work and expectations in the year ahead, and - let’s be honest - a sense of sadness about saying goodbye to vacation. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of vacation-mourning. Who doesn’t love the relaxed pace of the summer, the adventures of day trips or travel, and the chance to set our own agenda? Think of your own vacation. Did you read a book that’s been on your bedside table for months? Did you have summer days when you woke up excited about visiting a new location? Did you tackle a project at home that you’ve been putting off? The joy of summer isn’t about not working… it’s about doing the work you want to do.
The challenge for educators is to take these aspects of vacation and build them into the experiences we create for students. It’s about finding a way to make learning more than the curriculum, standards, and assessment prep. More and more, we are connecting with educators who share the excitement to move beyond traditional practice. They’re willing to recognize that the job of a teacher isn’t to cover material but to create lasting moments of learning… to inspire their students.
The Inspired Learning Project provides a resource and community that support educators in the challenge of reimagining school. We are believers that everyone is a learner. We are believers that cultures of learning are more powerful than cultures of teaching. We are believers in the talent, heart, and importance of teachers. We are believers that a community of like-minded professionals can support small changes that make a dramatic impact. Welcome back to the Inspired Learning Project!
The idea that small steps lead to big change is one of the key ideas shared by Ted Dintersmith in his recent book What School Could Be: Insights and Inspiration from Teachers across America. In the book, Dintersmith - a former venture capitalist turned education disrupter - shares the work of inspiring educators that he collected during a year of visiting schools across the nation. The book is an exciting call to action for parents, students, and educators to pursue an aspirational vision of school.
We’ll be sharing more from Ted Dintersmith (including some thoughts about his film Most Likely to Succeed) throughout the year. In this post, we encourage you to listen to his conversation with Will Richardson and Bruce Dixon from the Modern Learners podcast. (Always a reliable source of thought-provoking ideas!)
Check out the podcast to learn about the following:
Additional Resources Worth Checking Out
Click here to access the Modern Learners blog, podcasts, resources, and more.
Learn about Modern Learners' Change.School here. A powerful community dedicated to reimagining school. Each of the ILP team members is a graduate of Change.School. Cohort #6 is starting soon. Let us know if you're interested!
Check out What School Could Be by clicking here.
Click above to share a practice that promotes student agency, ignites students' passions, or creates a bridge between classrooms & the real world.
Click above to nominate an educator to be celebrated by the Inspired Learning Project.