At her keynote address this morning, Hayes Jacobs encouraged us to consider which year we are preparing our kids for, and challenged us to reflect that in our mission statement.
We don’t know about other schools, but we don’t want our mission to reflect the idea that we’re setting our students up for the past. Starting today, we’re looking to the future – a slightly uncomfortable future.
For us, this new start requires us to change our language as much as our approach. It was very poignant when edJEWcon leaders pointed out that we’re already 11.3% into the 21st century. We’re no longer looking to a 21st century approach, we’re there (or supposed to have been there for over a decade). Instead, we’re looking for our “right now” approach. And in order for us to be effective educators, we have to commit to being lifelong learners – lifelong learners that are willing to let our students own their educational experience.
In order to accomplish this, we need to reach our students where they’re at. In Hayes Jacobs’ words, “We can fight the sea change or learn to navigate it.” This means embracing today’s literacies. Our intent is the same (to inform, to persuade, or to give perspective), but we’ve learned that if we want our students to be prepared for their futures, the tools we use to get there have to change to meet their needs.