… you write the foreward! Here is an excerpt from the foreward kicking off Building School 2.0: How to Create the Schools We Need by my long time friends and colleagues, Zac Chase and Chris Lehmann. (spoiler alert: I think this is a fabulous book that you all need to read)
During my four years there (SLA), I spent countless hours with Zac and Chris taking care of the administration and long-term planning for the school. Our work flow was definitely unusual. We spent (too) many late nights working around Chris’ desk, cycling between watching West Wing clips on YouTube, sharing thought provoking blog posts, quoting pithy tweets, being full on ridiculous and cranking out the work. I could tell you that we were efficient, but I’d be lying. Effective, yes, but efficient, no. Though the two of them may tell you that I was the ‘least fun’ one, always trying to keep us on task, I stretched myself greatly while I was there with them. The farm kid born of efficiency had to stop and question not just whether the work was getting done, but whether our work honored the people we were working and learning with along the way. We were the model of distracted productivity, and it was grand.
Building School 2.0 is born of that distracted productivity, a blend of humanity and scholarly inquiry that fuels the daily dialogue at SLA. When we had a particularly challenging stretch, we truly would search to find the value of each school day. When we started taking ourselves a little too seriously, we reminded each other that humility matters and to not become ego-invested in our work. On those really amazing days, when the teaching and learning flowed ever so smoothly, we reveled in how lucky we were to be teachers. And on almost a daily basis, we would be silly–and I mean really silly, the kind that left you teary-eyed and with sore abs. The chapters of this book capture so much of what we cherish in that school environment, so much of what we are all still working to sustain at SLA and create in new learning environments.
Please pick this up, start the conversation in your community and really dig into the work of creating the schools we need.