A lot has happened in the 193 days since I last made time to write a blog post. I have thought so many times about different topics I should be blogging about and amazing events of which we've been a part. But the reality is... starting a school takes a lot of time and work and updating my blog has been a low priority. Until recently. Lately I have been pushing our teachers to focus and help their classes reflect upon their learning and their journey. Sometimes you have to hear yourself say it multiple times before it starts to sink in!
I could share a lot about what we're doing, but hopefully you're following our Facebook page and getting a glimpse into the lives of our students. Thoughtful insight from our parents is now updated on our website here. So instead of recapping or summarizing, I'd like to share how I'm feeling right now. And I'm vowing, publicly and online, to work to maintain a better blogging presence of reflection on our journey of learning.
I enjoy quotes and find weekly ones for our staff to focus on. When writing this piece, I stumbled upon this: "To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity." - Douglas Adams
In our open-design type classroom environment, I am able to observe each of our classrooms easily throughout the day. This means I hear what each class is working on, struggling with, laughing about, and sharing with one another. The Finnish education system calls this "small data"... it's the simple but important data that is the heart of developing education around students and teachers. Each day, amid the hubbub of the exciting and student-driven lessons I observe, I am humbled, astounded, and utterly grateful for the three women who valiantly teach our students each day. Sometimes just listening to them, working so hard to help shape and guide other people's children, brings tears to my eyes. It's moving to me that people are willing to give so freely of themselves to serve and help advance the next generation of humans. And our teachers do so with such sincerity and integrity... working hard to form a true connection with our students, with each other, and with our mission. I don't tell them enough or as deeply and as beautifully as they deserve.
When I found the quote from Douglas Adams, I had to turn around from my desk and spy his book on my bookshelf behind me. If you're a fan, you might appreciate the t-shirt I wore to the DisruptWell event saying "Don't Panic!". Since I am a fan and I know that the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42, I started thinking about that number, which led me to another quote... one that touches on the beauty of our staff and inspires me on a daily basis.
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." - Jackie Robinson
At The Innovation School we value something different. We value our relationships with each other and with our students. We value and live out our mission. We value the support we have had from our community throughout the past 9 months. If you're interested in learning more about our school, please contact me for more information. We'd love for you to feel the connection to integrity and sincerity our staff and school are living out each day.
Maggie Barth - Director and Founder of The Innovation School