Byron's Babbles

Where Do We Put The First Brick?

During our final session of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) 2022 Legislative Conference, Scott Palmer of the Education Counsel, told the story that his grandfather said he could build a bridge if someone told him where to place the first brick. Then, he asked the panel he was moderating to tell where they would place the first brick as we continue recovery from COVID and redesign education. For me, this is about stopping the throwing of bricks at each other. Let’s have the difficult conversations and get it figured out for our scholars.

We all need to be rethinking what the opportunity to learn means. My first metaphorical brick, however, is that we need to find every child. Now, in our 514th day of the Global Pandemic, we have many students that have become anonymous. We need to find every child and make sure we are giving them the opportunity to learn. Then we need to take an integrated systems approach to:

  • integrate all outside experiences the scholars have.
  • we need to rethink the time and place of learning.
  • we need to consider the time and place of learning.
  • we need to consider the different paradigms for opportunities to learn.
  • we need to provide critical experiences for all our students.
  • we need to take into account the ecology of a young person’s experiences;
    • all the adults that students experience and interact with.
    • the other students in their lives.
    • the extracurricular and other activities outside the traditional school day.

I continue to say that school is no longer just a place. We need to shift the system to meet the needs of every kid, not have the kids shift to meet the needs of the system.

I’ll leave you with this thought: Whatever we want to be true for our students has to be true for their teachers, including experiencing safety, belonging, and purpose in the community of school.

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