Monday, August 13, 2012

The First Day of School

It's Monday morning, the day before school.  I sit down at my desk, and, already, it is covered with papers, bulletins, books, a DVD, sharpies, pens, and post-it notes. Sigh. I was determined not to begin the school year in this way . . . cluttered, seemingly unorganized, and with my favorite pencil burried . . . somewhere. So rather than pursue the pen and begin to work, I am thinking about our staff and updating the Network.
Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, "Out of clutter, find simplicity," so I am trying to think beyond my desk(s) and into the year.  I am trying to consider how the nuanced and complex practice of teaching could ever be made simple.  And I am trying to think of ways to support and attend to us as we navigate all that is new or different this year.
The principle is simple, I suppose: academic and personal success for every student.  The methods, however, are many.  The strategies for effective teaching can be collected into a 221 page book, but the art of connecting the right strategy to each student requires a precision that can render simple strategies complex.  This can be daunting.
And so to find simplicity in the clutter, we must rely on and learn from and with one another. On Friday, we engaged in a prime example of this as we learned about design questions 1 and 6.  You were also invited to learn about and to share strategies for using Discovery better. This will take all of us, within departments and teams and across the faculty as well.
If the year seems big, if you feel like you are begininng in the middle of chaos, if you wonder at all how we will manage this, I ask that you rely on what I rely on: the commitment and talent of our teachers and the principle that every student will find success.
My thoughts, support, and best wishes are with you as you lean into the 2012-2013 school year!
With great expectations,
P.S.Two more things:
  • I divided Friday's PowerPoint into five sections and posted them under the Quick PD section of the Network.
  • You may still access the Welcome 2012-2013! and the Beginning of the Year Business, 2012-2013 posts by clicking the links.  Don't forget that you can subscribe to updates to these "From the Principal" posts so that they come right to your inbox.

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