So, if you’re like me, you may be wondering what it is like to start a school, and what that first day back will look like, and how much of that first day will truly match your vision and assumptions of what a first day back to school should look like. More madness, more making — Thoughts… Share… Create…
Today, September, 3, 2013 at 9:13am the first announcement in front of a live audience involving YSC students from 8th-12th grade, the media and press from Comcast Sports Net, ABC, and one other media group whom I am forgetting, shared that YSC Academy is finally open. The same way that European soccer academies opened to change the paradigm for soccer success on and off the field, YSC Academy is in its inchoate stage to make the Philadelphia Union the metric and measuring stick for MLS success over the next 10-15 years.
While the school is officially open, it is important to remember my goals as an English teacher and community organizer. These are my goals for the workplace of YSC:
- To crowdsource, grass-roots build a resource center for our library.
- To have every student, exploring and answering his own questions along with these questions: What is the best way for information to flow into you? What is the best way for you to inform others? (Design/Storytelling/Essay/Picture/Combination)
- To have students connecting to individuals and communities outside school to further investigate their perceptions and experiences with the world.
- To have students participate in meaningful interactions digitally and socially for civil and personal reasons.
- To have students participate collaboratively in the assessment process from start to finish to make assessment and reflection as fluid, as transparent, and as immediate as possible.
The requirements for carrying out this work:
- Every student blogs. I am not the sole assessor of this blog.
- Every student competes either individually or collaboratively to campaign for the YSC Library (Aesthetic Practice and Webdesign, Digital vs Paper Platform, Primary and Secondary Stakeholders, Economy and Purpose of a Library)
- To send a proposal to the YSC Academy coaches about an article from an ethnographic human perspective about what it means to carry out the work of being a high-caliber student-athlete, elite soccer player and student at YSC.
- To organize one field trip to get students to experience the questions of exploring your own learning by visiting Third Ward.
What materials are needed for this project? What is the back-up plan in case the project does not work? Who are the experts the students may turn to for feedback and help? What principles of this project require research and critical thinking? What are my justifications for this project?
So, if you’re like me, you might be totally caught up in this project and you might not be asking yourself some of the smaller questions like, how are the students going to access this knowledge or how is the teacher going to support the students who do not know where to begin?
Either of these questions are beneficial to think about, but my answer to them may not satisfy the leanest layperson. My definition of education as a struggle to go deeper may not be your definition of education. That problem-solving, choice-making, risk-taking, slow-and-steady rendering may be too gosh-darn slow for some people and for some students.
The exciting part about getting to build your own annotated library will be the getting to build your own annotated library. What books will the students choose? What mistakes will they learn from and what mistakes will they miss? Whom will they choose to support their endeavor of building a library? What will they find along the way? How will their hopes and dreams of learning about the construction of a library affect their work ethic? What sources will they find?
The art of possibility is beautiful.