How is an ideal school most likely to be?
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Great question! I think that more thoughts like this are needed in education. With this in mind, you will get varied answers. I am a firm believer that if students are able to feel as if they have a stake and a vested interest in their learning, the process of teaching will be far easier. There will be less tug of war and less of an adversarial condition because it will be one where enthusiasm is present. I think that my ideal school would feature this reality of choice and divergence of freedom in as many realms as possible. There is probably not a dominant and controlling presence of high stakes standardized testing, and in its place is a pedagogical approach, encouraged by administration and community, that teachers are more of facilitators in the learning process. Instead of the teacher as being the font of knowledge, the teacher is one who helps students as they construct their own knowledge and learning base. This does not mean that the teacher is not needed, but my ideal school would be one where students understand teachers a community of resources that can help guide and be a conduit to their learning as opposed to bearing the full and totalizing responsibility of it.
I, too, applaud your question. A really successful educational experience should be interactive. That means students and teachers are part of a learning community in which questions are asked and perhaps not always answered. Critical thinking and analytical skills would be the goal, and all new learning would be connected to previous learning. Learning must, of course, be measured because we live in a world of measurements; and skills in reading, writing, and speaking would be valued. Aside from that, I have few preferences.
My ideal school is pretty simple. Small classes, administrators who aim to put teachers first (always), and consistency across the faculty with goals, management, practices, etc.
Honestly, when classes can remain at or under 20 students, the majority of the problems that most public schools experience are magically eliminated. When a teacher can be more personally involved in each student's life, more money, technology, frills, even parent involvement isn't even necessary.
An ideal school in my opinion would consist of an entire faculty that truly cares about the education that the students are receiving. Money also would not be a major concern like it is now. Class sizes would be smaller as well. Smaller class sizes would ensure that students are getting individualized attention. In addition to all of this, students would also care about their educations as well.
An ideal school has teachers who set high expectations and actually teach in order to help the students reach the expectations. Quality schools will also have cross-curricular efforts among it's staff as well as successful vertical teaming efforts. The administrators will make choices not based upon what makes parents happy but what is actually best for the students.
The ideal school should be a place where the focus is on learning and not just teaching. It seems like too many schools are satisfied with having a curriculum in place that is taught by professional teachers and little regard is focused on the actual learning taking place.
My ideal school is one where all of the teachers like being there, and enjoy working with kids and teaching in general. The administrators are supportive and caring. They back you up, but also listen to you when you need it. The kids are eager to learn, and capable.
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