CHANGEd 60-60-60: CHILD-CENTERED

Thinking about What if students self-assessed more and initiated progress reporting? 60-60-60 #28 and reflecting…

The Child at the Center.

It’s the name of Trinity School’s 2008 Strategic Vision and what Bo advocates for in his post about student-centered and kid-initiated progress reporting. “The Child at the Center” is what drives both the strategic and day-to-day work at Trinity and it’s a major reason why we have shifted toward student-led conferences in second through sixth grade. And, for those who don’t believe in student-led conferences in elementary schools, check out the incredible metacognitive work that Kathy Cassidy is committed to with her class of first graders.

Trinity’s Head of School, Stephen Kennedy recently shared his thoughts in a post titled Where do Ideas Come From? It’s a bit of a plug for our upcoming parent (and community) education event, but it’s also providing the perfect riff for this 60-60-60 entry.

A comment left on his post made me think about how shifting to more student-centered approach to reporting could be accomplished with only a few small tweaks:

Gwen Cleghorn taught me to write in high school, and one of her mantras was that “There’s nothing new under the sun.” What weight that statement carries. Every day I am faced with the challenge of remembering how simple life really can be, yet we are the ones who complicate it all. Just watching toddlers these days who approach a screen of any kind will poke at it to make something happen — how simple! I am so thankful for the folks out there who look at the “old things” under the sun in a whole new way. Technology has trudged through plug-in keyboards, “if then” statements, system-wide crashes to reach this point of facility. We should rejoice in the beauty of it all, yet instead we too often complain of shortcomings. As parents, caregivers, and educators, we cannot afford to fear the new ways of looking at things. Because after all, they are just the “old things” that we’ve always known; they just need a little poke sometimes.

Exactly. “We cannot afford to fear the new ways of looking at things.” And if we keep “the child at the center” during our adult conversations, there’s a good chance that students and schools will benefit. Isn’t it about time?

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