We had a visioning summit at school today. The participants were students, parents, teachers, alumni, parents with kids who graduated, community members and hangers-on. It sounds deathly. It wasn't. One of the exercises was to craft a story based on the question "What does school look like when it is at its best?" This was my story.
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"Stories are what we live in" wrote Kerwin Klein. This is a story to live in. It is a story of twins, a boy and a girl. When they were very little they were afraid of the dark. But soon enough, they put their night light away and started school. At school, they learned to love learning. The learned to love being outside and the learned to love tools. Not just hammers and saws (although of course, hammers and saws) but all the tools. They loved designing and coding with computers. They loved logic and rhetoric and persuasion, the tools of argument. They loved the woods and the city and it's people and all the different things the woods, and the city and the people could teach them. The loved the tools of science: microscopes, and magnifying glasses, and statistics. And most of all they loved the tools of friendship: love, communication, and the courage to tell their friends when they're wrong or even worse, when they were obnoxiously right.
When they got older, there were new challenges and terrors. They were afraid about college, and new people, new places, and challenges of the wider world. They worried about their futures, and the futures of their city, their country, and their planet. But the learned to act on their fears and use their tools. They looked at the darkness and were no longer afraid but thought about how to make a light. And then with their friends, they built lights. Some lights were little and only shined on their desks. Some lights were big enough to light their homes and their dorm rooms as they left for college, and their first apartments. And some lights, the lights they built with others, were big enough to shine on the whole world.
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What does the light you want to build look like?