We eagerly await Tuesday, our first day of school with our students, having finalized the installation of new lockers, the renovation of a more safe and secure front entrance and a great week of learning together last week. While new lockers are exciting for students, the new school year also allows us to feel excitement to reconnect to our vision and inspire those students we serve “to lead in the global community through a passion for learning, innovating, and inquiry & design.” I had the privilege this summer to hear Pasi Sahlberg (Finnish researcher and visiting professor at Harvard) speak a conference regarding “What Makes Some Education Systems Successful?” The result of his research noted the key elements that exist in successful schools include:
- trust-based responsibility,
- professionalism and
As a school community at BCS, I look forward to renewing our efforts together living into these five critical elements. Our students achieve at high levels, both in developing academically and in character, through these five elements by invoking the skills of our Moral Compass and valuing our 3E’s (education, environment, each other). To best live into these five critical elements, we must invoke key skills of ethical character:
- positive attitude
- respect & kindness
- honesty & integrity
- responsibility & accountability
Sahlberg brings what he has learned from the education system in his native Finland to United States’ parents, teachers and policy makers. Check out the video GERM that kills Schools (18:41) or his keynote address at Vanderbilt University, Finnish Lessons: What can the world learn from educational change in Finland? (1:19:27).
Want a few quick articles to read? Check out Rick Wormeli’s article from Education Leadership entitled What to Do in Week One? where he outlines three key actions for teacher in that first week (and beyond) – make sure students feel safe; know your students well; practice empathy. AND…check out this article from the New York Times called What Kids Wish Their Teachers Knew; it’s not to be missed!