In his book, Building Community in Schools, Thomas Sergiovanni says: "The need for community is universal. A sense of belonging, of continuity, of being connected to others and to ideas and values that make our lives meaningful and significant - these are the needs shared by all of us." I believe that schools must develop a community of mind that bonds them together in a special way and binds them to a shared ideology. The quest to become a purposeful community takes care, cultivation and consideration. As an educational administrator, teacher and innovator, it’s my goal to create this type of community.
The community of mind that students and teachers share has as its center the importance of providing students with intellectually challenging rigorous academic experience that make them resourceful lifelong learners. Becoming a learning community where members are committed to thinking, growing and inquiring and where "learning is for everyone" is an attitude as well as an activity where innovation flourishes. I believe in building inquiring communities where administration and faculty are committed to the spirit of collective inquiry as they reflect on their practice and search
for solutions to problems together.
My approach to building community in schools is based on having a growth-mindset, empathy for others and empowering teams through the use of design thinking, technology and mentorship. Both students and faculty alike learn through active versus passive learning, alternative assessments are accepted and having a bias for action is the norm. Through interdisciplinary project-based learning, connecting students to resources and community partners and rich-technologies, students develop agency. Students learn to code just as they learn to write and speak another language. I believe in “field based-studies” or connected learning, where students use the community as a part of the learning network immersing them in opportunities for deeper and personalized learning. This type of learning provides context and connectivity. According to the MacArthur Foundation: "Connected learning provides a design framework to build transformative experiences by linking individual mentors and educators to organizations and networks. We know that these emerging models – as well as a focus on tools, content, and community – is working. This, combined with the spontaneous emergence of real, hyper-localized activity around the world, illustrates the opportunity to transition from an inspired initiative to global movement.” I believe that both local and global travel opportunities build empathy, inclusion and community. With these foundational elements in place, students have the opportunity to be critical thinkers and show mastery of the content in real and impactful ways.
Key to my educational philosophy is that learning isn’t just focused on the content or on applied projects but also the “whole-child.” At the earliest ages, learning should focus on building social emotional skills, opportunities to try, risk, and fail all within learning systems that are personalized, culturally relevant and connect to the broader community where students come from. Developing optimism, perseverance and self-regulation should be skills built within both a robust advisory program and woven into the curriculum. Wellness and mindfulness balance out rigorous and active curriculum. I can offer schools the guidance, leadership and opportunities to achieve these philosophies that will prepare students with the future-ready skills needed to survive and thrive while building community, shared purpose and civility.
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My Educational Philosophies