Monday of this week I attended another Creating Pathways to Success committee meeting at one of our high schools. I look forward to these meetings as it gives us a chance to talk. Elementary folks, secondary folks, teachers, guidance, people, consultants, etc. all talking about the destinations and how to motivate students to achieve.
This post is not about that meeting.
This post is about the dreaded “hat rule”…..I know I’ve mentioned it before. Actually, this post is about student agency.
Our meeting room was kind of a fish bowl setting. A room with one entry point and a large amount of glass. If you sat with your back to the windows, you were golden.
I, however, choose to people watch. I sat at our large meeting table facing the outside world (or hallway) just to get a glimpse of high school life. To be honest, I wanted to see the dress code.
Not two minutes into the school day, I noticed hats. An abundance of hats. Yay for hats! So I naturally had to ask…..”What is your hat rule?”. The reply made my question obviously rhetorical. “We don’t have one as of this year!”
Kudos to you WDSS. A proud moment for me as an #LKDSB teacher. Turns out we started a trend as I learned from twitter we have other schools embracing the same growth mindset.
— Linda Jared (@LindaJaredEdu) January 21, 2015
What I love most about this concept is much bigger than this trivial rule. The hat rule, or lack thereof, is just a glimpse into the student agency we are creating. It’s about voice and choice. The big idea is about students. You see, the lack of a hat rule is just a small glimpse of the wonderful empowerment we are incorporating here in #lkdsb. It’s not about the hats. It’s about asking ourselves the “why” as educators. Why do we have this rule? Reflection is crucial. Change is OK.
No, Change is good.
I challenge you to dig deeper. Don’t question whether the hat rule is important at your school. Instead, question the “why”. Question every decision you have made or plan to make with “why”. Empower students to ask “why”. Why are we learning this? Why are we doing it this way? Why can’t I wear my hat?
Check out this “viral” picture from twitter this week. I’ll caption it with:
“Is this a learning space, learning commons or learning curve?”