I was recently asked to present to our school board regarding the year at St. Catherine. I was able to look back at the goals we had set for ourselves and share all that we had accomplished. I have learned so much through this school year, about opening a school, relationship building, developing a positive school atmosphere, working with a variety of personalities, ensuring student success…but two things come to mind as I reflect on this school year.
When teachers work together towards a common goal or vision, the impact on student learning is powerful. Teachers building a dream, working towards a shared goal, always focused on this goal allows for focus and drive. Teachers move towards this goal one step at a time, but with support from one another. What happens in our individual classrooms may vary, but as a school, we embraced a philosophy. The conversations that occurred in hallways and at the staff room table were all focused on arts integration and meeting students needs.
Integration of the arts works for every student. Students learn by doing. They learn through hands on activities, through playing and through exploration. They can do each of these through the arts. We learned that learning through the arts does not mean that each child needs is an “artist” but rather each child is a “creator,” or a “thinker.”
We were able to accomplish a great deal in our first year at St. Catherine and I am sincerely looking forward to the years ahead.
When your’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible. – Howard Schultz