Monday, June 20, 2011

What do you see?

"It's not what you look at that matters it's what you see." - Henry David Thoreau
As a school administrator in an elementary building, it often crosses my mind what these kids will someday offer our community and our world.  Do we have a future doctor and beautician?  Maybe some educators or someone that will work at our local newspaper?  Whatever path they choose, it is our job to see to it that they have the skills and abilities to be successful.  How do we accomplish this overwhelming task with the time we have?  
Our district has chosen AIW (Authentic Intellectual Work) as our professional development focus.  Our staff is tuning into higher order thinking, rigor/relevance, and disciplined inquiry.  Through our collaborative efforts, our goal is to challenge students to think 'outside the box' not just rote memorization of facts.  Are we giving kids the opportunities to excel?  Or are we limiting them by saying knowing the facts is 'good enough.'  As a parent of a 6 year old and 2 year, that's not good enough for me or my kids.  I want them to be problem solvers, collaborate with others to contribute to something bigger than themselves.
When you look at students and you challenge them to think on a higher level, what do you see?  What is the potential you are giving kids by allowing them to exceed expectations? 

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