There has been a lot of reflecting going on at home these days. School is cancelled and the whole world is frantically trying to figure out how we will educate our children. I for one am super excited about the idea that everyone out there is going to have to reimagine what education looks like for their children while they are away from the institution of school. I have been saying all along that learning can look very different and that it needs to change. Will this pause in “education” open up people’s eyes that there is a desperate need for change? Covid-19 is a perfect example of how our world needs problem solvers, not just in the medical field, but in all aspects of our world. If we continue to teach students from textbooks, have them memorize things and regurgitate it, are we really producing problem solvers? Are we preparing students for the uncertainty that is the world that we live in?
In his recent video Simon Sinek on Education, he asks his viewers to ask the WHY of education and poses the following questions:
- Are we helping kids find solutions to their own challenges which likely will become their strengths as adults?
- How can we help children be more curious?
- How can we help them learn empathy?
- How can we help foster their passions, rather than just make a grade?
Even before this halt in education happened I decided that I needed to do more to change the way we do school. My teaching philosophy and classroom have done a 360 in the last 10 years and I am loving the results. I come home every day emotionally and mentally exhausted but at the same time energized. I am learning so much from the people in the community that we connect with and so much from my students. My students feel empowered and are making a difference in their communities. They are becoming problem solvers.
I want my own children to be able to have this type of education. My girls are in grade 7 and 2 and the high school that they will go to is amazing and I am excited for them to attend. However, I still want my children to get the opportunity to become Social Change Makers. Therefore, I have decided to start up the Social Change Makers program for high school students. This program will be offered “online” and youth will work on leadership skills as well as vital skills needed for the future of work, connect with their community all while working on a Ontario credit that would go towards their OSSD.
I am not looking to replace public education, I believe in it wholeheartedly. It is important for youth to be with their peers, to be a part of a school community, to be on sports teams, in the band, clubs or in the school play. There are benefits to traditional schooling and some students really thrive in it. The purpose of the Social Change Maker program is to give youth in Ontario the opportunity to compliment their current schooling and take one or two courses in an alternative learning environment. To give students who don’t necessarily do so well in traditional school a chance to show their brilliance, to give them a change of scenery, a place to feel good about who they are and use their strengths and work on vital skills that they will need for their future.
I am excited to share that The Social Change Maker program will be opening its virtual doors in Fall 2020 through a new online school called Unlearn Academy. For more information check it out here or contact me directly.
Thanks for unlearning with us 🙂