[I keep reading full disclosure in people's posts/comments/etc. Was wondering what it felt like to be a part of something that you felt you had to state a full disclosure. Maybe that's the point. Full disclosure. So much that we don't have to state anything. Or maybe it's good practice.. a heads up. I don't know. Here's my heads up to you.. I know I don't know. Great chance that I'm wrong. I'm using my ignorance to get better at listening.]
It seems so odd that many of us buy into this achievement gap invisible assumption, this stealth of equality. Something about data and statistics and math that makes us all shut down and follow.
Over the last four years, our district has given us space to listen, without an agenda. The expert in the room is much like that school-math laden piece of data, that chart, that graph. It can make us mindless. It prods us on.
But to what? For what?
Who’s to say what achievement is? We certainly have enough evidence that standardization has a crippling effect. The latest economic data can be depressing. But it’s most likely deeper than that. No? Who’s to say getting a job, getting money, etc, is what will bring quality of life.
They have said our county is 6th in the nation for suicide. One every nine days they say. I’m thinking if people who have taken their lives had mastered (and according to the way we decide our data most did) how to rationalize a denominator, et al, it wouldn’t make a difference to their quality of life. So why that gap? Why that game?
Respecting people, absolutely.
Respecting the hold pisa, sat, achievement gap assumptions, success assumptions, etc, have on us, absolutely not.
Let’s respectfully call all of it into question. Or better yet.. let’s walk on. Let’s not get distracted from being alive by our obsession with counting and recounting and rehashing our assumed quantities of… what gap again?
Imagine .. a flipped classroom of a different color. A different flavor. The flipping is ongoing and it’s more about connections. It’s more about a mindset. It’s more about trust than our current obsession with mistrust. Trust in people. Trust in learning. With learner as owner.
Imagine, as a home base, if you like, only spending 30/60 min a day/week with a group of 8-15. Imagine if that gathering is the only standard of public ed, the only accountability piece..
we kindly request that you are known by someone.
Interdependency. You can choose.
[We currently have approx 15,350 students and 1083 certified staff, that comes to about 15 kids to one staff, 2087 if you include classified, that's about 8 kids to one staff.]
Imagine .. the rest of the time, which could then be 7 full days/nights minus 60 min, we can all choose to do things like this and this and this and this.
We would have time to crowdsource local communities of practice. Live face to face communities of practice, enhanced, jumpstarted, intertwined with virtual communities of practice.
[There are so many ways to learn today.. I stopped actively filling this grid in a while back.. there really is no end.]
So imagine some of that.
Imagine unleashing people via mentor(s) per choice. With time, space, resources.
All per choice.
And imagine some of this.
[I've seen too much over the last four years, and I know too much of useful ignorance, to not boldly add this...]
Perhaps those most assumed dysfunctional in our current system, (school/society/mindset), will be finding quality of life, will be blowing us away, sooner than the rest, because perhaps, one of our biggest detriments is our current satisfaction with an assumed quality of life, with an assumed standard of measure. Perhaps what is missing most is a dissatisfaction. A real one. One that gets to our gut. One that makes us move. One that helps us see the invisible, hear the silence, seek to preserve the wilderness. One that makes us play/wander/wonder/become more than it makes us complain/whine/defend/conform.
Perhaps all we really need is space, time, equitable access to resources, and someone to listen to us, facilitate us, believe in us, without an agenda, without reference to some assumed achievement, to some assumed gap. Those we currently refer to when we talk of the low end of the achievement gap, often share something in common, they don’t have what those on the high end have when they go home, if they have a home. There is no assumed expert when they’re away from school. well, what if the absence of the assumed expert, the absence of assumption, is all that is needed. To get us to dance. To get us to dance to the music of our soul, that which we can’t ignore. To get us to share the thing inside each one of us, that is waiting to be brilliant.
What if the gap is flipped, for a short time, because we decide there is no gap. We decide it was/is myth. What if we start believing that we are all a thumbprint, and life starts today. There is no more waiting.
Our thumbs are fine. we just need to listen to them. Be/become them. Be/become us. Per choice.
And what if in this new space, this space of permission to be, this infinite game, where we are following our bliss, our most earnest and intense curiosities, what if in spaces such as this, that assumed gap becomes invisible.