Starting From Scratch

The second Blog Hop in the Innovator’s Mindset series asks…
If you were to start a school from scratch, what would it look like?

IM weeks 2

I think if we could build a new school from scratch, with no constraints, no barriers, no no’s, it would look very different from what we have now. It would also feel and sound differently as well!

I would start a school…

…where everyone is a learner and a thinker
– from the student desk to the front office
– students, educators, support staff, parents… everyone

…where all students have a voice that is heard and valued
– student agency in curriculum content, delivery, and demonstration of their thinking and learning

…where the learning environment meets the needs of the learner
– indoor and outdoor learning spaces
– flexible, multi-purpose furniture

…where learning isn’t confined to and restricted by discrete subjects and periods
– integrated learning

…where students, parents and staff are partners in learning and they all know how students are doing
– ongoing feedback between students, parents and teachers
– observations, conversations and products are all valid and reliable assessment data

…where learners of all ages are connected to others both within the district and around the world
– learning and thinking shared during the process
– feedback for learning is valued

…where we focus on the skills and competencies learners need to succeed now and beyond
– critical thinking, collaboration, meta-learning, citizenship, communication, entrepreneurship, creativity
– plus emerging skills and competencies

…where all staff have a sense of collective autonomy and co-responsibility for students
– we continually learn and grow, not because we aren’t good but because we can be better
– all staff are empowered to shape their own learning and the learning of their students

…where everyone wants to be because it is purposeful, relevant and fun!

All over Ontario, we are building new schools. Just not from scratch. 


Check out what these educators would do if they could build a school from scratch.

Donna Miller Fry
Leigh Cassell
Stacey Wallwin
Tina Zita
Jennifer Casa-Todd
Mark Carbone
Paul McGuire
Amit Mehrotra


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