A Pause to reflect
In that spirit, I am sharing my educational philosophy with you. It is what I believe about my role as an educator and the work I hope to do in my role as an educational leader. Here is a version of my educationally themed, this I believe essay. I challenge you to write your own.
I also believe that all students must have equal access to this remarkable learning journey. Educators must create learning environments that allow students to pursue the questions that are relevant to them with facilitators who can provide the necessary challenge or support they require. This level of personalized learning requires a high degree of collaboration among a team a teachers who share responsibility for the learning of the students they serve. It requires a commitment on the part of school leaders to create schedules that enable this degree of collaboration to occur among teachers. It requires structures to keep students and evidence of their learning at the center of these collaborative conversations to inform planning. It requires systems to identify students who need extra support and challenge over time to ensure that interventions and accommodations are provided in a timely manner. It requires management to ensure that the experience of students and families who require additional services to access the curriculum can experience consistency across sections. It requires all professionals to be flexible enough in the way they understand their role to support the identified need of a child and not their label.
In short, it requires intention. Inclusion of students with unique learning needs does not happen by magic or accident. It happens because a school community embraces, not just accepts, a wide variety of learners and puts the supports, systems, structures, and challenges in place for them to be successful and for the teachers, parents, aides, administrators, and all stakeholders to be successful and committed to understanding and managing their needs.
I love working in International School because I believe in global citizenship and International Schools play such an important role in fostering connections across language and cultures. Yet, my roots are in public education and the belief that education is an absolute right of all. International schools, as a community, have been slow to embrace the joys and challenges of diversifying their student bodies to include students with a wider range of abilities and needs. This is changing. The questions that I am currently exploring center on what International Schools would look like if they included a broader range of abilities and how might I lead this change. It is my sincere wish to work with a school that seeks to live this question.