Initiatives I’m Excited About at My School This Year

There’s an unfortunate narrative that sometimes gets pushed in the ed reform community that charter schools are places of innovation and effective practice, while traditional district schools are maintainers of the status quo.

At my school, Jonas Bronck Academy, there’s a few initiatives that I’m excited to help support in this new school year that I think any school, whether charter, district, or private, might learn something from. Check out a short overview of those initiatives in this presentation:

If you’re interested in learning any more about any of these initiatives or would like to share resources, feel free to reach out to me!

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More on Time and Consistency in Learning Environments

In one of the most insightful books I’ve read on education, In Schools We Trust (if you haven’t read this gem, check it out from your library now!), Deborah Meier provides some wisdom from her extensive experience in cultivating positive learning environments that complement our last few posts (Planting Seeds and Educating for the Long Haul) on the necessity for a long-term perspective in education:

“. . . schools [that are learning communities] offer plenty of time for ideas to grow, and they don’t set rigid timetables. For some kids the aha’s are almost immediate; others require seemingly endless repetitions . . .”

“A school that is always rethinking basic premises creates unacceptable intellectual and moral disorder for kids and families. Sometimes it’s even worth sticking with the wrong consistencies for a while. In schools, as in classrooms and families, there are necessary routines and rituals. . . Caution is also required because we have all had very little, sometimes virtually no, experience with face-to-face democracy . . . so some of our efforts are clumsy out of sheer inexperience.”

Stability. Consistency. Sustainability. This is what creates a positive learning community for children.