Thank you to Katherine for commenting on my post requesting readers to share stories and insights into our school system and the cultures that we have created. Her comments are from someone new to our system who grew up and went to school in a neighboring district. Her answer to what makes us different can be found in the following words.
I attended a neighboring district in the 90's and early 2000's and the vibe
there was completely different. At the high school I attended I felt like
everything was about the WASL - and I graduated in 2007, before passing was a
requirement for graduation - once we passed it didn't seem like they cared about
us anymore. I don't get that feeling here. From what I've seen the teachers here
are passionate and invested in their students and I think the students feel
Compared to her personal high school experience our teachers care about their students and the work they do. I believe this is true in all of our buildings. It is why no matter how old the building or how many students we put into crowded spaces, parents are supportive of THEIR school and THEIR teachers. I hear this in our PTA Roundtable meetings and in the community.
Katherine identifies an attribute of the culture that we are creating for our young people. Why is what she sees and hears in our schools different from her experience in what she describes as a good school district? What mental models result in these teacher behaviors and what are we doing systemically that influences these mental models? Perhaps Katherine's sharing will influence others to share their stories. There certainly are many more out there and I have the patience and persistence to continue trying to pull them out as long as I get a comment every so often.