Learnings from MS Principal Coffee

This month’s MS principal coffee showcased connections that students are making through their work in the arts and a grade 7 social studies project.  Student showcases included a bass/cello performance of an original student composition, an ensemble and a soloist, student actors, a student singer/songwriter, student filmmakers, and student visual artist mask and marionette creations .  In each of these creative endeavors, students shared their learnings that transcended the realm of the classroom as parents reflected on the similarities and differences between the learning they were observing with the students and what they had experienced as students themselves.

What we learned from our students is that in addition to subject specific knowledge and skills, they are developing the soft skills that matter in our every-changing and interconnected world.  The students spoke of a developing sense of self confidence in the choices they make and in their ability to showcase their art in front of an authentic audience.  They demonstrated internal motivation, for example, when Alina shared that she often stays after school to “play around” in the MS recording studio where she’s been recording the songs she writes.  They talked fondly of the connections they’ve been making with local and global experts as they’ve accessed experts in the field.  Finally, they spoke of creative problem solving as they hit unanticipated barriers.

As we look to the work of educators in an ever-changing world, we must recognize that we cannot educate our kids in the same ways we were educated if we expect them to be prepared for the future.  Instead we must equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to be adaptable, collaborative, creative problem solvers who can effectively communicate in a culturally diverse landscape.  I left Thursday’s coffee inspired and grateful to be working with the students, families, and colleagues that we have here at SAS.  It’s a pretty unbeatable place!

Dr. Theron J. Mott, Middle School Principal

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