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Archive for April, 2009

If adventure doesn’t exist within your school, it should!Adventure + Excitement = Learning

As the principal of a school, I have the great opportunity to hike the halls.  Consistently, I observe most of our students doing exactly as we expect.  Some students are sitting at their desks focused on the lesson, others are sitting at their desks acting like they’re focused on the lesson, and a few of them are off task and partaking in behaviors better left to the imagination.  An aspect I don’t often observe or feel is a sense of adventure.

Learning should be exciting!  With excitement comes curiosity and engagement and better achievement.  How can learning a new concept or wrapping our minds around the events that shaped our country’s past and provided us the freedom to write blog’s like this be boring.  Wow, that’s exciting, but are we bringing these nuggets of knowledge to our millennial students?

Our district, like many other rural districts, is facing budget shortfalls and is reducing the budget by nearly $700, 000 next year!  This should scare me, but it doesn’t and let me tell you why.

Next year, one of our classrooms used for keyboarding will be vacant.  The easy decision would be to take that existing room, loaded with computers, and create another computer lab available for all students.  That was going to be the plan until one of my innovative teachers pitched an innovative idea.  The teacher wants to create a language arts classroom centered around 21st century learning.  She mentioned tweeting as a form of communicating assignments, posting assignments on-line, and creating a paperless classroom.

I was wallowing and whining, in my mind, about the reduction that created the vacant room while this teacher proposed an alternative for and adventurous 21st century classroom.  Innovative people never seem to get stuck when a door closes.  They just open a window!

Despite the obstacles our school faces, we keep getting better.  Our teachers are awesome!

I was hoping that writing about this idea would help me think through the process, but I could still use your help.  Providing our students an adventurous curriculum is my goal.  What do you think?

Is utilizing the vacant classroom as a computer lab to serve all of our students (we have four other labs) best or should it be converted to something new and innovative?

Your comments will surely steer me in the right direction, I hope!

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