The Best Week Ever

This week, I learned some of what it takes to be a better leader. I got to make plans for where I want to spend money, I met the mayor (an ultimate leader), and I read about a real person who inspires me to be courageous.

In this picture, we are calculating all the money we earned from our fundraiser at Localtopia. Guess what? We made $1000! We split our money into different categories: short term goal, middle term goal, and long term goal. As a group, we want to buy books, buy more technology, and go on a trip. I enjoyed the opportunity to participate in this fundraiser but this was the first fundraiser where I got to choose where the money went that I helped raise. Indi-ED allows me to make adult choices but in a kid-friendly way.

This is another proud part of my week. We got to see the mayor! Mayor Kriseman is a very nice man who helped us prepare our upcoming showcase. He talked to us about the history of St. Petersburg and about his perspective on being a leader. I was shocked to hear him say that his favorite part about being mayor is actually spending time with kids. I enjoyed this moment because even though he is very busy he takes time out of his day to teach us what it takes to be a leader.

Another great thing about Indi-ED is that we can decide to read by the bay on a beautiful day. I am not reading just any ordinary book, I am reading a biography that helps me be courageous and encourages me to step up and tell others to do the right thing.

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There are a few things about Lauren’s words that inspire me as a teacher.

The first is that she has the support of not only her teachers and classmates but of her parents that help her drive home the messages and things that we value.

I met with quite a few people this week who appreciate what we’re doing, want to be involved with Indi-ED, and some who are trying to replicate elsewhere. What I’ve come to realize is that you cannot simply add programs or elements here and there, it is an entire unit and way of work that makes consistent, engaging, and meaningful learning like this happen ALL of the time. It’s not one project, it’s not one idea, it’s not one good ___, its ALL of it-ALL of us together that make it happen.

Our families reinforce similar leadership mentalities.

Our families have similar conversations when we deal with challenges.

Our families preach similar messages about learning and what leads to success in life.

The second, is that what makes our way of work entirely different than any other school in our area, is that EVERYTHING revolves around the kids!

The fundraiser itself-their idea!

The way they spend their earnings-their ideas!

The idea to interview the mayor-their idea!

The email that was sent to arrange the interview-they did it!

The biography that she’s reading-she chose it!

These are just a few of the ways that we intentionally make learning meaningful and student-centered. (Individualized Education, see what we did there?) 🙂

Thank you for the reminder Lauren!

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