Official planning for this upcoming school year at Indi-ED has begun, and we couldn’t be more excited.
The collaboration among our staff has been very similar to last year, but even BETTER. (And we still have four weeks until our students return!) This is a similar trend at Indi-ED: We don’t think it can get any better, but then, it does.
We have already hosted a few project days this summer- where students are able to come in and lend their opinions, ideas, and painting skills. Remember, we allow our students to take part in the classroom design .
While reflecting on our work so far, one particular project stuck out to me and I realized it could be an analogy for our intentional planning process.
Some of my students painted a tree on the wall in our classroom, with guidance of course. This tree represents many things, including our love of nature and science, and the growth we always strive to achieve.
We started with painting the largest and most important component of the tree- the trunk. The trunk represents our students and families. They are the foundation for everything we do. We have always planned with our students’ interests, abilities, and preferences at the forefront. They are top priority.
(I also realize that roots are a very important component of trees, so I likened these to the ‘unseen’ work that goes into what we do. The ‘dirty work’, if you will. The truly essential work done by our founder, Mrs. Laurenzi, the endless hours of research, communications, outreach, meetings, etc.)
Next came the main branches of the tree. These represent the character values and units we purposely plan for our students. These values and units provide the vital opportunity for growth.
Lastly, we painted the many leaves on the tree. These leaves represent the numerous lessons and experiences that will fill our school year. They will be varied and interesting. They are the ‘smaller’ details and where the real learning and growth happens.
Is it possible to pick up a paintbrush and add to or change the tree? Yes.
Is it possible to make changes to our unit and lesson plans as the year progresses? Absolutely.
Was one student so nervous about doing something new (painting leaves) that they almost didn’t do it? Yes. But they pushed themselves and completed the painting anyway. Once finished, they felt accomplished and proud of their work.
During the process of planning this year, there will be challenges. We will need to make adjustments as we go. But in the end, the basis for everything we do- our students- will never change.
One of our main goals is that our students will continue to GROW into more confident, accomplished, and inspired individuals.
We know that this growth will look different for every child.
It could be one of our ‘veteran’ students building on their progress made last year, and improving their skills in math computation, leadership, or public speaking. Or it could look like one of our ‘rookie’ students realizing what it feels like to learn in a place where their personal interests and abilities are highlighted and honored.
Wouldn’t it be great if all educators could strive for this kind of growth?