Here are some of the names of students I have served over the last 35 years:
William Lynda London Shaniqua
Jennifer Stetson Randi Randy
Riggin Isabella Denzel Yashi
Scout Jesus Kehinde Winston
Bronc Amanda Amaad Nina
Charli Charlie Chase Chastity
Niels Li Lee Leigh
Not surprisingly, these students had varying ancestries, differing body shapes, many skin colors. Some lived in the country, others in the city. They represent a wide range of religious beliefs, diverse interests, unique abilities, and disparate cognitive capabilities.
However, they all shared some commonalities:
>They didn’t make mistakes on purpose.
>They all wanted to do well, in school and in life.
>Their parents (or loved ones) had the highest hopes for them.
Good schools, the very best schools, accept students (like the ones named above) just as they are.
Good schools, the very best schools, understand that the compact between home and school is a sacred bond, a sharing of responsibility for achieving the highest aspirations for each child.
Good schools, the very best schools, deliberately pursue the development of each child along dimensions that go beyond academic learning – like the teaching of courtesy, respectfulness, service-mindedness, work ethic, collaboration skills, ethical behavior…
Good schools, the very best schools, insist on providing a safe and nurturing environment (both physically and emotionally) for learning.
Good schools, the very best schools, seek to provide opportunities for students to meld their interests and aptitudes in meaningful ways with the academic curricula.
Good schools, the very best schools, refuse to reduce children to a set of data points.
Good schools, the very best schools, treat students as….....................………well, just what they are - INDIVIDUAL LEARNERS.
Good schools, the very best schools, make each child better. In return, each child makes the school better.
ANY school can be like the good schools described above. We don’t have to wait for permission to create such a school, nor do we need mandates from some distant regulatory entity to make it happen.
The critical catalyst needed is a team of professional educators who are committed to making that school a good school, the very best school possible - a World Class school.
We can pursue that goal, today!