My Beliefs about Education

Beliefs about Schools:

  • I believe a strong public education system is essential to preserve democracy. I was previously opposed to charter schools; however, I think some charter schools can serve as models for public schools. Nonetheless, my ultimate preference would be for public schools to have freedom from bureaucratic regulations and the will to transform public schools into joyous places for learning.
  • I believe public schools are better than they have ever been and yet public schools are not as good as they need to be.
  • I believe schools should be focused on creating lifelong learners who use their knowledge, skills, and influence to make the world a better place.
  • I believe public education should value patriotism and teach our children to be civic minded and service oriented so they are equipped and empowered to become leaders and contributors to society.
  • I believe local communities should have influence and ownership over their schools.

Beliefs about Learning:

  • I believe the world is changing and students are different than previous generations because of globalization, the impact of various technologies, access to information and the changing family structure.
  • I believe that in order for children to learn at high levels, which includes being able to retain and apply their learning to new situations, they must be genuinely engaged.
  • I believe students are more engaged when they are solving real problems for a real audience.
  • I believe children must not only be consumers of knowledge, but they must be creators, publishers, and world changers.
  • I believe students must be empowered to have ownership over their learning and inspired to think, innovate and create.
  • I believe learners will do challenging work when failure is embraced as a valuable part of the learning process and they feel safe and valued.
  • I believe meaningful learning can occur any time and at any location.
  • I believe children should learn content and develop skills at a profound level as well as develop their ability to learn how to learn, think, explore, create, innovate, apply their learning to new situations, embrace failure as a valuable learning tool, and be resilient.
  • I believe that grades are not always a reflection of learning. (Some students just learn how to “do school” without profoundly learning.)
  • I believe that test scores measure some content knowledge and skills: however, they are not always a true indicator of profound learning, are very limited in what they assess, are oftentimes misunderstood by parents, media and politicians, and are a single snapshot of a limited scope of knowledge. They also do not measure attitudes toward learning, habits of mind or skills and dispositions that are valued in the arts.

Beliefs about Those Who Inspire our Learners to Learn:

  • I believe all members of the school community should treat each other like family and have a common set of beliefs that unite their efforts as a team. I also believe that working in education is missional.
  • I believe that every member of the school community contributes to student learning and should be a continuous learner.
  • I believe there must be a culture of intellectual curiosity among adults and students for a school to be effective (when teachers and school leaders love learning, so do students).
  • I believe teachers are designers, facilitators, navigators, mentors, encouragers, and leaders who continuously work on improving the learning experiences designed for students and should be highly respected experts who have a local and global impact on teaching and learning.
  • I believe parents are valuable partners and members of the school community.

Beliefs about Leadership:

  • I believe in servant leadership – – putting others before yourself and focusing on what is best for those whom we have the privilege of serving/educating.
  • I believe effective leadership is essential to a school’s (and school system’s) success.
  • I believe the superintendent, principals and other school/system leaders should be lifelong learners who have a local and global impact on teaching and learning.
  • I believe school leaders (superintendents, school board members, principals, etc.) must have the moral courage to do what is best for learners.
  • I believe the superintendent and school board should function as a team, advocate for students, create capacity and build community.
  • I believe community members are valuable partners and must be involved in their schools.
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