The focus of this blog is connectedness for many reasons which will become evident as posts begin to appear but here is a brief explanation to begin…
My thinking around this was sparked by something small but significant. One day I held a door for a grandmother followed by a small child. The grandmother glanced and smiled her gratitude but the child walked by as though the door had magically opened itself. I was struck by the absense of connection between the child and what was happening in his world. It made me think about what we are doing as parents and educators to foster connectedness between our children, the people they cross paths with, and the world they live in. It occurred to me that connectedness is central to many of the shifts that are happening and need to happen in education today. It also occurred to me that connectedness between educators and families is key to creating understanding of why these shifts are important for our kids, and that the lack of connectedness often stands as a barrier to these shifts.
While our schools on the surface look much the same as they did when we were kids, what and how we teach has shifted and continues to shift for many very well thought out and researched reasons. While parents and the community are often sceptical of educational shift and take a ‘what was good enough for us is good enough for our children’ stance, just as we expect our medical practitioners to change as new evidence about medicine and therapies is discovered, education must change as we increase our understanding about how our brains work and about learning and teaching. (see discussion in the comments below questioning this assumption)
As an educator I am passionate about researching and designing effective learning environments. The world is changing rapidly and educators need to respond to that change by engaging in ongoing conversations questioning and evaluating what we have always done with the goal of maintaining and supporting powerful practices, and tweaking or even abandoning practices that no longer make sense in the light of current evidence and circumstance.
I believe that one of my roles as a school administrator is to foster a climate of community and connectedness between and among kids, school staff, parents, and the wider community. I believe strongly that if parents and the wider community were given the opportunity to understand why shift needs to happen, they would be more willing to support these changes. I believe we are selling our parents short if we don’t provide the opportunity for them to do this, and we are also missing an opportunity to foster connectedness.
As a parent I understand what we all want for our kids ~ we want them to lead successful lives. While we all define success differently, the concept at a basic level is ultimately the same. In this way we are automatically connected. The purpose of this blog is to facilitate connectedness through communication and conversation about the central goal that we all share ~ success for our children, and how what we are doing in our school is specifically designed with success in mind.
“Only through our connectedness to others can we really know and enhance the self. And only through working on the self can we begin to enhance our connectedness to others.”