Most schools you know of have a theme. The thing that sets them apart from other schools. The thing that they cling to when they think of values and impact. People often ask us what that is. There are many answers that come to mind.
We indeed believe that every child is gifted with the potential to change the world.
We feel empowering kids to take ownership of their learning is strengthened by real-world experiences.
We know that finding joy in learning is key, combined with rigor, to excellence.
We know that there are ebbs and flows in the learning cycle.
We see how the arcs of the year, the sessions, the weeks, the days are pivotal in communication for our team.
But, if you pushed me to narrow it down to one word. Define NOLA Micro Schools in one word. It would be, without a doubt, COMMUNITY.
All of the things we hold dear at NOLA Micro Schools are much more valuable and applicable if we take what we are learning to know and what we are learning to do, and we take it into the community as we learn to be...as we become lifelong learners on our own hero's journey.
This year our overarching question is Who is responsible for community?
When we look around at our community, it begins with the role in which we play in our community. As a member of the NOLA Micro Schools team, who am I choosing to be?
As a member of the Central City neighborhood?
As a New Orleanian, who am I going to be?
As a citizen of the United States of America?
As a human being of this amazing beautiful world that has much improvement to be made?
It is easy to tell kids they need to step up. Take responsibility of their actions and their place. BUT...if we provide the space, the opportunities and the time for them to figure this out on their own. Wow. Watch them come to the realization on their own that they have a voice. They have a presence. They can make change happen. Then, they realize that those around them can do the same thing.
I am grateful to watch them. Learn from them. See them own what they have to offer. Watch them build their own community, while all of us grow along the way.
Who is responsible for community?
What is our role as a member of a community?
How do we choose to make an impact?
What is our priority?
Are we willing to learn from all of those around us?
I hope so. I hope that we are able to look around us. Sit still. Observe. Listen. Learn from even the smallest of things.
Community takes many forms. If you doubt this, come look at this small group of students, from many different backgrounds and schools, and see community building happen. See what kids are capable of creating when it comes to culture and community. See how they engage the adults around them. Their fellow teammates. Their neighbors. And, be ready to learn.
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