A Note from Susannah: Driving Innovation with Connection

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Susannah JohnsonWhile seeking a way to more authentically engage students in my classroom, I found myself in need of support. I was looking for a way to connect with other educators for inspiration, feedback, and guidance but that didn’t exist save for a few colleagues who were generous with their expertise.  This need for connection, both for educators and for students alike, continues today as we seek innovation in education.

Presenting research on this last fall, the data showed that the number one way students felt engaged, and observable data supported the claim, is the same as it’s been for over a decade: connection.  Students are engaged when they feel seen, heard, and are able to connect the learning to themselves, and connect themselves to the world around them.

As humans, we are part of something bigger than ourselves.  We are a community, and we also have the privilege of seeing the complexity of us in harmony with the whole world. With complexity comes nuance, and time is needed to fully form and be ready to comprehend life as a human.  That’s where we, as educators, come in; the most important part of what we do is connection.

So it makes sense that we need each other in order to implement authentic, deeper learning.  Connecting on ideas, getting support and feedback, solving problems, and continuing to change an area of humanity that is huge, broken, and in need of major innovation takes a village.  Each one of us taking small steps in our own classrooms and schools leads to better learning experiences for our students, and our global community.

What excites me these days is seeing so many educators and community partners come together to help solve some of the problems as well as lift each other up with ideas and support.  To make change happen, one needs the spark, but also tools, resources, and collective critical thinking.  One also needs to be brave, because easy doesn’t change you or the world.  Our current generation of learners knows this, too, and they’re ready to push their boundaries alongside us for a better future.

The What School Could Be Community App builds on the existing awesomeness of the Innovation Playlist and the work you’re already doing for the collective future.  Use your curiosity, and that of your students and colleagues, to harness great ideas through sharing, critique, and our own lifelong learning.  Evolution means the gradual development of something simple to something more complex, in one definition.  Let’s engage in a powerful change model together.

Join me in the What School Could Be Community today for a better tomorrow together.

To access the app, just follow this link: https://community.whatschoolcouldbe.org

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