We are not cookie-cutter kids.Posted: June 29, 2011
In my first post ever I attempted to pull together my thoughts about continuing to look at doing things differently to keep students in schools as opposed to removing them.
It was not intended to be critical of mainstream schools, nor was it intended to discourage the move of students to alternate programs. I’ve had the privilege of seeing teachers do incredible work in their classrooms in regular schools, just as I am more than aware of some of the success stories in alternate programs.
I recently had the honour of attending a graduation ceremony in one of our alternate programs. It was a great opportunity to see students I’ve known in the past celebrate a significant achievement in their lives.
I was particularly impressed with the message of our Valedictorian. I wish I had been able to write down everything she said, but a few points resonated with me as I sat and listened:
- we chose to come here
- we had the courage to leave a system that wasn’t working for us
- this is not a cookie-cutter school, and we are not cookie-cutter kids
- the staff are not just here to teach us, they’re here for us
- don’t live down to expectations
- do something extraordinary
As I reflect on her message I can’t help but wonder about the things we can do in our schools so that each of our students are able to express similar sentiments.
If we’re in a cookie-cutter school, perhaps it doesn’t need to be.