Sunday, August 10, 2014

SEM 2014-2015: The B.E.S.T. Year Yet

I just bought a new house...a brand spanking new house!  I designed it myself...picked the colors, chose the tile, selected the cabinets....and the carpet...and the lighting...even the sink!  It was so much fun!  I moved in over the summer, and I absolutely LOVE my new house!  But as much fun as I had during the design process, and as exciting as it is to live in my brand new house, there have been times when I have felt a little...unsettled...nervous...even scared.  Now, I realize you may be thinking, "She's crazy! What's so scary about living in a brand new house?"  Well, you wouldn't be the first person to call me crazy, but hear me out.  In a brand new house, EVERYTHING is DIFFERENT.  For example, in my new neighborhood, I am surrounded by strangers...neighbors I don't know...and who don't know me! What if I don't like them? What if they don't like ME?  And in my kitchen, there's this new oven...completely different from my old one.  The other day I was making dinner for my son, and I couldn't figure out why the chicken wasn't cooking.  My son is the one who discovered the problem. The chicken wasn't cooking because I hadn't turned on the oven!  And my closet..instead of long and skinny, it's short and fat!  All my clothes are in the wrong place!  My pantry has drawers...my sink is too big...I have a study.  A study!  I've NEVER had a study!  What the heck?!

Okay, so clearly I am being facetious, but let's face it...change IS hard.  Its uncomfortable.  It's stressful. Sometimes it's even a little scary.  So, if that's the case, why bother?  Why do we put ourselves through this painful journey of change when it would be just as easy...easier, in fact...to leave things the way they are?  Well, let's think about my new house.  Yes, there is some discomfort.  I don't know where things are.  I am further away from work.  My furniture doesn't quite fit.  BUT IT'S A NEW HOUSE! It's got these lights
that fade on slowly to save electricity.  And the cabinets have a soft close feature which makes it nearly impossible to slam them shut.  (Sure wish I'd had those around when my kids were teenagers!)  There's even a rain gauge built into my sprinkler system that enables it to recognize when nature has given my lawn the water it needs so it doesn't waste water by adding more.  My old sprinkler system couldn't do that.  Oh wait...my old house didn't even HAVE a sprinkler system!

Now one thing my old house did have was size.  Two stories...four bedrooms...two and a half baths...two living areas...a huge backyard.  It was big...and perfect for raising three rambunctious
children, especially when I was young and spry and as full of energy as they were.  But that time in my life is gone, and my needs are very different now.   I no longer need four bedrooms or two living areas. I certainly don't need, or even want, a big backyard.  However, a sprinkler system is pretty handy to have around.  And a house with no stairs is the perfect fit for a girl with a bad back.  And the study...oh my...the study allows me to separate work time from play time and find a balance between the two that leads to greater joy in both.  I love the study!

So what's the point?  Simply this...education is changing.  I'm not talking about a subtle shift of educational pedagogy.  I'm talking about moving into a brand new house!  EVERYTHING is DIFFERENT.   It's uncomfortable...and it's stressful...and sometimes, it's even a little scary.  It would probably have been easier to just leave things the way they were. But "easier" is not always "best."  Heck, sometimes "easier" isn't even "good."   I could have stayed in my old house.  It would have been much easier.  I was comfortable there.  I knew my neighbors.  I was close to my school.  It was "home."  But I was paying for space I didn't need....rooms I never used...stairs I couldn't climb.  My foundation was cracking because I wasn't strong enough to pull out the hose to water it.  And...well...it didn't have a study!  Staying would have been easier...yes....but if I had made the "easy" choice, I would have missed out on the "best" that replaced it.  Our kids...the learners in our classrooms...they are different.  Their needs are different.  And they don't need easy.  They need BEST!

As we begin a new school year, I am more excited than ever about the "BEST" that the Schoolwide Enrichment Model has to offer to our learners.

SEM...

Brings opportunities for all learners to collaborate with peers and adults who share like passions.
Enables all learners to identify and develop their unique interests and talents.
Supports the development of future ready skills such as collaboration, creativity, and communication.
Takes control of the learning away from the educator and puts in the hands of the learner!

SEM 2014-2015...it's going to be the BEST year yet!

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