Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Learning, Growing, and Building. All Part of a Typical Day at Inquiry.

The speed of a school year never ceases to amaze me always seems to catch me off guard.  Things start off slowly in August, build in September, and then fly once October comes.  I am not sure if it is because the end of September and early October bring a flurry of activity around the school with Homecoming, the state Band Competitions, Sectionals for Sports, Spell Bowl Championships to chase or simply because the changing of the seasons seems to accelerate at this time, but the second six weeks of our trimester always dwindles away like the hour glass sands the Wicked Witch of the West used to horrify Dorothy as she held her captive to get the Ruby Slippers.  Faster and faster, slipping away until quickly they are gone.  It is during these times that I most often lose site of the progress that is being made.

Today was one of those rare days when all of the pieces that I most want to see where in place. We had visitors in to view presentations by our Leadership Institute Class on Career Cluster Infographics they had created.  Students heard from a recent Plymouth High School graduate who was home for Fall Break from DePauw University.  Our Global Perspectives students continued there research and discussions about religious tolerance, after Skyping with a board member from the Center for Religious Tolerance who teaches at the University of South Florida.  In Algebra and Geometry the students continued to work on the problems presented by mathematics.  As I walked into classes I can see students learning and growing.  Presentations are getting better, projects are going deeper, and the facilitators are raising the bar on the rigor of the projects, while fine tuning them so that the learning is taking place mostly within the scope of the project as opposed to work done outside of that focus. And when I walk through our future home, walls are going up and you can begin to see where students will learn into the future.

It is times like this that I need to remember the other story of Oz, Wicked, and my favorite piece-that of Defying Gravity.  You see, this is exactly what everyone involved in Inquiry has done this year, they have Defied Gravity.  They have done something that no Plymouth student, teacher, or school has done before.  They are shifting the focus from regurgitation to inspiration, from teacher lead to student driven, and from content focused learning to learning that develops life long skills while still including essential content.  With that being said, we still have a long way to go before we can truly fly, but what an amazing trip it has been and will continue to be.  Let the time fly by because each day that passes only brings us closer to our goals and helps us all  to learn, grow, and build.
Skyping on Religious Tolerance
Hearing from DePauw Student
STEM Career Cluster InfoGraphic

Walls going up

Entry Wall.

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