Each year seems to begin with some type of evolution in our program, and 2014 is no different. We were co-leaders with the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) in teaching 5 high schools about project-based learning in May, and this Fall is when it all begins.
While constant change, mostly positive growth, can be exhausting, it's part of owning and developing a program. That leads me to the main point of this posting: the CDAT teaching team is remarkable, amazing, inspirational. This group is such a solution-oriented group, with so many great ideas, a wonderful level of trust and shared vision. CDAT was intended to be great for students, but it was also built to foster the ownership of the staff, and that has really come together.
For example, when many teachers are asked to try something different, you frequently hear something like "But I can't sacrifice that instructional time." This is a teacher making the assumption that if THEY don't say it, the students CAN'T learn it. And it's phrase of fear and anxiety, for the success of the kids, and it makes sense. If the kids are going to learn, without the teacher's clear plan and timeline, then how will they? Many teachers are clearly not used to having students do that.
With our team, that phrase is never heard. We have built a great level of trust, to focus on the learning, not necessarily the teaching. We listen to each other for important and stressful events, deadlines, etc., and flex around those priorities. Our group tries to think in the mindset of the student, from their perspective, so we can do things right.
So as we go through this year, let's keep this crew in mind. Their faith in each other, their faith in this team dynamic, has been a constant for years. This team approach has been the "magic" that has made CDAT special for years, and is the spark that we share whenever asked to speak. Way to go CDAT team, you're awesome!!
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