So you want to build a new school. What’s your goal? What do you really want to get done. Early on in our school design, I would write frequently something like this:
We are designing the best school ever.or
We won’t stop until Kornerstone School is the best school ever.
My colleagues on the planning team would insist, “You can’t write that.” I was told by my closest thought partners that my statements were arrogant and insulting to every other teacher, especially the great teachers.
My response, if you’re building a new school, you are taking on the task of becoming a school designer. Like it or not, you are a designer. Why wouldn’t you design the best school ever?
Furthermore, go to a great school that’s been designed in the last two decades. The people who work at the most dynamic school’s in the country, the folks who were a part of the design or implementation believe they work at the best school ever created. Many of those people won’t tell you they work in the best school, but it’s implicit in how they carry themselves and talk about the happenings in the learning environment.
I’ve been to each of the school’s listed above. If you’ve got a great idea for a school, I think the best thing you can do is start going to new schools. If you’re not going to create the best school ever, then why would you create a school? Mediocrity can improve. Greatness is designed.
Reflective quote: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” –Steve Prefontaine