For the past few months I have been preparing to open a new school in our district. I feel so fortunate, humbled and honoured to have this opportunity…oh and not to mention, just a little overwhelmed at times.
I think this is what most administrators would consider a dream…developing a vision, planning the space, the furniture, the schedule, the staff, etc. And to be honest, it has been for me as well.
I recently had the opportunity to meet with our initial staff. I spent a considerable amount of time researching, reflecting, questioning, thinking and re-thinking how the meeting should run. There were sleepless nights and many discussions with colleagues and senior administrators. I unintentionally “stole” an idea from another school when I came across the picture book, “Imagine a Place” written by Sarah Thompson. After reading the book (which is a great resource for so many reasons) I decided to ask staff to “imagine a place.” What would their ideal school look like, sound like, feel like?
So we read the book (actually watched it on youtube) and then crowded around a small table to reflect. Here is what these amazing educators wrote:
The remainder of our meeting went beautifully. The teachers shared project ideas, instructional strategies, ideas around scheduling and school philosophy. This activity helped to focus our work, our ideas and our reflections.
After taking time to read through the reflections I was filled with a sense of pride, awe and excitement! This activity affirmed all of the work being done in preparing to open the school. It is a great visual of what we hope to achieve in our new learning environment. Moving forward, I intend to use this chart as a reminder and as a focus in the work that we do. Working together, we will “imagine a place” where students can be comfortable and succeed.