At the first PTO meeting that I attended as the Principal of Van Allen Elementary, I was asked about the mission and/or vision that I have for my new school. I refrained from answering because while I certainly had a mission and a vision, I didn't think that it was worth sharing at that time.Instead, I wanted to spend time getting to know and working with staff, students, and the school community before creating a collective mission/vision.
We've been doing that. And this is the first of four blog posts that I am sharing to elaborate on our work.
As a staff, we identified the core values that were most important to us. We wanted to identify our core values, first, and then use them to draft the content of our mission statement. Knowledge was the first core value that we identified. Then, as a smaller team, we took Knowledge and turned it into the phrase Inspire Learning.
What follows is the thought process for how we created Inspire Learning from Knowledge.
When we thought of Knowledge, we thought of facts and the accumulation of facts. That isn't what we hope for students when they leave school. Knowledge is so 20th century. With tools like Google, we can obtain infinite amounts of Knowledge with a few proper key strokes and clicks. Knowledge is summative. And as David Culberhouse (@DCulberhouse) shared, recently, to Twitter, "Knowledge is no longer a commodity as much as it is a collaborative tool."
Conversely, Learning is a necessity. Knowing how to Learn in the 21st century remains a vital skill. Learning values the process. As educators, we value the process. We want Students to know how to Learn. We want Students to love Learning. We don't want our students (and/or adults) to ever stop Learning.