Monday, April 21, 2014

Good schools make an area? or Does the area make the schools?

All across Missouri and this week at Winfield Middle School, we are beginning our annual rite of spring, the MAP tests.  Teachers are nervous.  Administrators are jumpy. Students are excited to have a messed up routine.  Our testing coordinator is extra busy.  Some might even loose a bit of sleep.

This QR Code holds a message for the students to consider?  What does it mean?

We asked students today in preparation for their MAP tests to consider a simple request:  
We understand the stakes involved, we know the motives may or may not be true yet we made a request for them to try hard.

What would it matter if anyone ever did well on these exams?  What would the motivation be behind giving the best effort?  Why would it even be important?

Pride in accomplishment
Of course we all pay lip service to doing our best, claiming we are trying to improve and we are working towards a better tomorrow.  That sounds nice but here is a wonderful opportunity to verify those intentions. 
Property Values
Whenever anyone moves, one of the first questions the potential buyers seem to ask is, "Tell me about the Schools?" This also verifies the perceived or actual value in good schools.  Marketing principles support the ideas that good school may actually raise property values faster than the general market, making some areas highly desirable but other areas flat or declining.   Are good schools in the area because the area is good, or is the area good because the schools are good? 
We value the students effort but only ask them to do their best one time.  We believe that doing our jobs, building relationships with all of them and forming an environment of learning for all with a high bar for behavior as well as academics does far more than bribing, begging, pleading or even bargaining!  Students don't care how much we know until they know how much we care!  Students know if we care, or if it is just an act!  Good schools produce good scores and good scores reflect on the leadership!  We want our students to look good, and we might be the only ones that care!
De-Coding Skills  
When I was in school... 
Our students will enter a world that we cant even begin to describe.  The class of 2020 will face obstacles and issues that arent even developed yet, so we work to equip them with processing tools, thinking skills, infering practices, taking from something concrete and working towards the abstract.  We are asking them to solve problems that don't even exist yet!
The QR Code above, easily made at many online sites takes information and processes it into smaller bites, linking back to the internet of sharing data directly.  Just as a long web address reduces into a tiny address, there are many shortcuts, abbreviation and quicker ways to communicate.  What other new things will our students face as they mature into leadership positions in the communities?

We are preparing students for their future!  Not our past!    Winfield Middle School is #onthemap.

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