We have finally reached our last challenge for the school year in Design. It has been an amazing year. The growth that many of our students have experienced is spectacular. I have seen students improve their ability to work and collaborate with others. Many students have realized that they have creative ideas that are matter. We have also seen students progress in their critical thinking skills tremendously. As a side note, many of our students, who were initially opposed to our class, are now some of our strongest advocates. Many students have developed tremendous leadership skills along the way that will serve them well in future endeavors.It has been a challenge year though. We still have some students who are working to develop key skills and competencies in the 4Cs and student agency.
Earlier this week, I co-presented with our school's principal, Meredith Williams, at the Connecting Communities of Educational Stakeholders Conference in Greensboro, NC. She is one of the architects behind the creation of Design Challenge at North Rowan High School. We shared the background of the school's evolution into Design Challenge as well many of the highlights and challenges that we experienced this year. Attendees asked many good questions and there appeared to be a high level of engagement in what we were doing. We emphasized that we are still learning and moving forward but we have seen some tremendous successes. Perhaps one of the most important successes is tied to a quote from a parent contained in the slideshow below. She indicated that her daughter is excited about learning again. As a parent of a 7 year old, I am beginning to see him less excited about school and that breaks my heart. However, when I think about what the parent shared, it reaffirms the importance of what we are doing and provides a relevant measure of our program's success as well as hope for my son. High school students excited about learning. Many of them eagerly run to class which is a huge accomplishment in itself. As we returned home from the conference, it really made me think about the need to share and spread much of what we have done with other schools. It is my hope that with our presentation, we have planted some seeds that will re-engage students in the school and sparked their curiosity and creativity.
As a side note, our principal, Mrs. Meredith Williams (@williamsmnrhs) was selected as one of the Marvin R. Pittman Champions for Education Award Winners. Mrs. Williams was recognized as the award winner for administrators and we are so very proud of her. In true fashion, she accepted the award on behalf of all the hard work that the students, staff, and community are doing to move North Rowan High School forward.
The ideas shared here are my own and do not necessarily represent my employers, associations, or organizations. These thoughts are entirely my own.