Write An Essay On My Dream School Home

Recently, I have engaged with colleagues at my place of work to respond to the question, “What will school look like in 5 years?” We were encouraged to dream about the possibilities of what might be….

Therefore, in the spirit of messiness and complexity, and with the understanding that relational trust is all important, I put together this piece of “My Dream School”.

My dream school is one which strives to develop literate and numerate students who harness the power of digital technology to become ‘self-regulated learners’. Students would do this through learning opportunities which provide them with greater choice of subject matter, learning methods and pace of study. Furthermore, I dream of a school where students are granted the autonomy to challenge themselves and take risks to collaborate, co-create and think critically through learning experiences which are relevant to the real world.

As such, my Dream School acknowledges every student with the dignity and respect they deserve through the provision of student voice and student agency. The school supports of parents as the primary educators, enables children to become young adults who can recognise, have access to, and take up opportunities that will grow them as compassionate people with integrity and moral strength to make right and just decisions.

I dream with the end in mind and use the following questions to provoke thought

  • What will be required of students when they leave school?
  • What will be required of students who started Year 7 this year and leave school in 2020?
  • What will be required of Kindergarten students who leave school in 2027?

Furthermore, this Dream School prepares students for post school life in a world which is increasingly a different one to when their parents left school. In saying that, we must remember, the world will be different for our students in their early years of primary school as compared to our students due to graduate at the end of this year. Principles for Future Employees guides my thinking…..

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobmorgan/2014/11/11/the-7-principles-of-the-future-employee/

I dream of a school where we dare attempt to measure ‘hard to measure skills’ of communication, collaboration, critical thinking creativity, innovation and leadership.  Why? because those skills, rather than test scores, will be more important for students in the world that awaits them…..

I dream of a school where we value teamwork as much as individual brilliance. Let me explain…..

American University, Professor Stephen Courtwright argues that organisations, especially in technology, are more than likely to be team based. He cites longitudinal survey of Fortune 1,000 companies which found in 1980 that less than 20 percent of companies had team-based structures; in 1990 that became 50 percent, and by the year 2000, 80. Now, almost all have 100% team-based. He then concludes, “It is more important for children to be taught how to gain the trust of teams, rather than the adoring approval of their manager.”

Martin Luther King said, “I have a Dream!” He did not say, “I have a Strategic Plan”. It is in that spirit, but very much without the charisma and courage, I offer (and in no particular order) …..

I DREAM OF A SCHOOL….

  • Where big, open-ended questions are valued more than answers for closed, state based, mandated tests.

I DREAM OF A SCHOOL….

  • Where Teach Meets and Dream Meets occur more regularly than Staff Meetings.

I DREAM OF A SCHOOL….

  • Where Vision and Trust inform School Annual Plans as much, if not more than data.

I DREAM OF A SCHOOL….

  • Where Digital Literacy and Network Literacy are valued as much, and measured as often, as English Literacy.

I DREAM OF A SCHOOL….

  • Where Maker Spaces are seen as Learning Spaces;
  • Where Coding sits as a subject along-side English and Maths; and,
  • Where students do not ask, “Miss, does this count towards my report?”

I DREAM OF A SCHOOL….

  • Where digital technologies are used for real time reporting and even replace summative semester reports that can be up to five months old.

I DREAM OF A SCHOOL….

  • Where classrooms look like playgrounds and playgrounds are seen as classrooms.

I DREAM OF A SCHOOL….

  • Where BOSTES mandated hours are delivered to their minimum, therefore freeing up time students to engage in self-regulated interest projects where they set the marking criteria and then have peers provide feedback without marks or grades.

I DREAM OF A SCHOOL….

  • Where a teacher is judged as much as the ‘colour’ of their classroom as they are on the ‘content’ they deliver.

I DREAM OF A SCHOOL….

  • Where the timetable serves the needs of learning rather than the delivery of subjects.

I DREAM OF A SCHOOL….

  • Where risk is valued more than compliance!
  • Where questions are followed by more questions rather than the quickest answer we can find; and,
  • Where the process of learning is valued, measured and assessed as much as the end product.

I DREAM OF A SCHOOL….

  • Where teachers work with other teachers and teams of students by planning, preparing and co-creating real world learning experiences .

Finally, I DREAM OF A SCHOOL….where student voice and student agency inform more than strategic plans and annual goals.After all, schools look radically different when we see it through the eyes of children. This requires teachers to unlearn and relearn their role.

WHAT DOES YOUR DREAM SCHOOL LOOK LIKE?

 

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There is much work to do to improve schools across the globe, says Geetha Kanniah, 17, a Correspondent from Malaysia, who describes  attributes that she would like to see as common standards for all schools.

My dream school is first of all a school where life begins with the teacher who is full of passion and liveliness. The teacher not only grabs the students attention but keeps them on the edge of their seats wanting to know more. His or her enthusiasm ignites that spark of excitement that opens receiving minds to wider fields of knowledge. Such a teacher asks more questions from the students, explores with the students and is a friend to them. 

My dream school is a school where teaching methods vary from the use of contemporary technologies like robotics to out-of-class experiences.  Those experiences are important because they do not confine students to the four walls of a classroom. 

There would also be integrated learning of subjects both in the Arts and Sciences so that the education received would not be about confining but expanding. Given choices, students get a sense of freedom, can express opinions and will be more sociable. All these make them better persons in society, possessing a wide range of skills. 

My dream school would be complete with amazing facilities like classroom labs, pools, and gyms. A library and counselling centre would be at hand to enable students to be more familiar with their subjects and themselves. Studying in a hands-on environment allows students to use their five senses to gain knowledge. It moulds them to be excited about their abilities and excel with them. Also at hand would be a canteen stocked with healthy food. A balanced diet is vital for students who spend many hours in school. Clean, non-processed, nutritious food is a key feeding requirement for students. 

Foreign exchange programs in my dream school would create understanding and respect. They would satisfy curiosities and instil intercultural awareness. They would be open to all students, rich and poor. Including students from all parts of the world would make this education truly global. 

Sports would be given equal emphasis with academics. After all, education is not only for the mind but for the whole self – mentally and physically. Sporting activities instil a healthy lifestyle by encouraging students to be physically fit, emotionally strong, and have good self-esteem. They build team spirit, and at the same time encourage individuality. Through sports, people from different backgrounds meet and learn to respect each other. 

Academic subjects must be relevant. The syllabus would include significant impact fields like environmental studies, political views, and economic struggles. It would grab the attention of students and lead them to action. 

Improving schools would require international collaboration. Such cooperation would encourage dialogue and lead to common standards. Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the great engine of development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that the child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation”.  

Education can bring a change in someone’s future as Mr. Mandela observed. The struggle to keep fulfilling that observation must be made by us. Students need to be inspired, amazed and be aware of endless opportunities. 

While school is the best thing that ever happened to mankind, there is still yet more to do.

 Photo credit: scottwills via photopincc

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About me:

I am a Malaysian, who looks for adventure and thrill, and is passionate about sports. I enjoy tennis, swimming, badminton and most recently, longboarding. I also spend a lot of my time with my camera, capturing as much as I can, while documenting them on my blog: journeywithacamera.wordpress.com.  

My travels give me the exposure to learn about the world. And to know and do more, I volunteer with different organizations, particularly in the marine field. My ambition is to be an explorer and to reach out to people.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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