Sunday, September 7, 2014

School as a Fairy Tale | Connected Principals

School as a Fairy Tale | Connected Principals:

School as a Fairy Tale

So for those of you who have seen me over the past few weeks, you know that I’ve been pretty excited. Not only about the year that we’ve just begun, but about the journey that we’ve embarked on as a school that will span the next 4 to 5 years. With our new strategic plan, our new mission and vision, our new commitment to building community and relationships, and our new focus on sustainable change, I cannot keep the Language Arts teacher inside of me from bubbling up and relating this incredible opportunity that we all have to a fairy tale. I’m a very optimistic and idealistic person by nature as most of you are getting to know, and I tend to be a sucker for happy endings, so it’s not hard for me to see the beginning of this journey as a wonderful gift. I’ve spoken about this “gift” at our recent faculty meetings when I talked about how fortunate we all are to have arrived at this point in Academia Cotopaxi’s history, with the chance to affect meaningful and purposeful change for our students and community. In my experience, it’s pretty rare for a group of passionate and like minded educators to be presented with an opportunity like this, and after the excitement, the palpable positive energy, and the success of our first week, I truly believe that our own little fairly tale is starting to take shape. Let’s think about the elements of a traditional fairy tale for a minute so I can try and make my point…
As you know, with all good fairy tales there tend to be a few unmistakable characteristics and several key elements which give them their endearing qualities, and inevitably bring the stories to life. Here’s a quick list from my own elementary school past (as a teacher and as a student), which will probably bring you all back to when you were either watching Disney on a Sunday night with your family, or sitting crisscross applesauce in front of your third or fourth grade teacher when you were a kid…
  • Once upon a time…Happily ever after
  • A noble journey or quest
  • Royalty
  • Magic and Enchantments
  • Good versus Evil
  • Moral Lessons
  • Incredibly difficult tasks requiring tremendous effort
  • Human weaknesses explored (pride, laziness, selfishness)
  • Human strengths glorified (kindness, patience, empathy, generosity, perseverance)
If you take some time to read that list again, I bet you’ll begin to see where I’m coming from, and it won’t take much effort to see the connection that I’m trying to make. Whether you’ve taken the time to recognize it or not, our “once upon a time” has already begun here at AC, and our noble journey/quest is already underway. In our story, the princes and princesses are our amazing and beautiful students, and the magic is the  passion, the attitude, the mindset, and the commitment that we as educators and people are bringing with us to school everyday. We’ll use our expertise, our extensive knowledge, School as a Fairy Tale | Connected Principals: