A couple of weeks back, I wrote briefly about accreditation. We are going through a new process this year that we find very exciting and challenging.
As our principal and I sat through an explanation of the AdvancED process, I noticed that everything went back to “the student.”
Huh… imagine that… education focused on the learner!
I know, I know… it sounds like a fairly obvious statement, but in that moment, I had a very brief, fleeting bout of panic. “Wait! Does our classroom walkthrough model focus enough on what students are doing rather than teachers??”
The answer? Of course it does. Our school has created a culture that is focused on the student and on how we can best reach students. We are at a stage where we are looking at ways we can stretch students and reach students of all ability levels. It is a difficult task, but it is important.
When I first started as a school administrator, I believed that it was important for the teachers to feel comfortable with what they taught and how they taught it. And to a degree, I still believe so. The danger in this type of thinking, however, is that it can give teachers a free pass to not grow as educators. Teachers can fall into such a rut that students who do not fit into that narrow groove cannot succeed in that teacher’s classroom.
Why should we allow this, or (even if subtly) promote it?
“School” and “education” is for the student’s benefit, not for the teacher’s ego or edification. Keep it Christ-centered and student-focused… and then see what great things can happen in the lives of teachers, students, and parents!
When education is student-focused, the teacher becomes a life-long learner. When the teacher is a life-long learner, the teacher has a passion to reach all students and is unafraid to try new things in the classroom. When a teacher is passionate about students, students notice and get excited about learning. When students are excited about learning, parents notice and want to know what is going on in that school. And when parents and students take a look at what is going on in our Lutheran schools, they see Jesus.
And it doesn’t get any better than that.