With Easter behind us and the weather warming, we are now asking the question: “Is summer far behind?” Of course we know the answer, and it puts us educators into a bit of a panic because of the myriad of things on our plates before the door is closed on this school year.
Though we are faced with the dilemma of the flurry of end-of-year activities, I would like us to continue to reflect on how both our elementary and our secondary students are growing in becoming the self-assured leaders that we wish them to be — both today and in the future. How do we help them to “stand on their own two feet” with grace and dignity? Having been in education 45 years as a teacher and an administrator, the word “shifting” has been one of my favorites in the changing world of teaching and learning. Therefore, in Catholic education today, I am using “shifting” in my own perceptions in relation to my thoughts direction.
- Shifting from a focus on “product” to “process.” It is not necessarily what students know, but how they got there. Learning is not an end; adapting, embracing and thinking critically open the world of learning.
- Shifting from a focus on “assessment” to “self-assessment.” If we are shifting in education to focus more on the “process of learning,” our learners will have to be able to assess their progress through their own unique journeys—a component of student-centered learning!
- Shifting from “technology-integration” to “innovative teaching and learning.” For the past few years, the focus has been on what technology we should use. Instead, “shifting” the mindset framework to the type of learning that needs to take place and then incorporating the correct methodology to accomplish desired results should take precedence.
Finally, for all this shifting, focusing on the internalization of faith of our students in our Catholic schools will always remain primary and constant.
Our job is not to prepare students for something.
Our job is to help students prepare themselves for anything.
May you be blessed as you continue your journey toward the end of the school year — hopefully, no rough bumps!