I Dream of Building Such a School One Day

If money were no object, this is the school I would build.

Girard College, Philadelphia. Lithograph by J.C. Wild, 1838, retrieved from Wikimedia Commons

Imagine that one day, I open my banking app and see that I have one billion more dollars than I did the day before.

After regaining consciousness, I call the bank. It’s a legitimate deposit, I’m told. I’m skeptical. Wouldn’t you be?

Another caller interrupts our conversation. When I answer that call, I am told I have been granted that money with no expectations, no strings. I tell the caller I’m skeptical, that this doesn’t happen to MacCorkles. We have always had to scrimp and save.

Nevertheless, it turns out to be mine. Now what do I do with it?

Well, after making sure my family will never want for anything ever again, I decide I’m going to build a school. I’m going to be the next Stephen Girard, in a sense. Instead of only bequeathing millions to the creation of a school upon my death, I will also run it.

I know, I know… How many teachers every year declare they are going to build their own school and do it better than where they teach now? I’m sure there are many. With this post, I add my voice to the cacaphony.

Thanks to Priscilla Du Preez @priscilladupreez for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁

What Should Our Priorities Be?

In this first article, I will outline the priorities for this dream school. I risk sounding incredibly naive, but that’s fine. Perhaps I can spark some healthy conversation!

  1. Why build yet another school? What is the mission statement?
  2. Should the school be a day school or a boarding school?
  3. What benefits could each student look forward to (clothing, nutrition, healthcare, wellness services, ed-tech, dormitory, etc.)?
  4. What age range would be accommodated at this school?
  5. What are the entrance requirements?
  6. What parental and community obligations should we establish?
  7. Who would make the perfect head master? Who would do well in our administration?
  8. Who would make the perfect educational professional?
  9. Who would make the perfect school medical professional?
  10. Who would make the perfect nutrition specialist and all the other wrap around services a school needs?
  11. What is the overarching teaching and learning philosophy that will guide all of us?
  12. How should the curriculum be organized? What is the purpose of the curriculum?
  13. What would the schedule look like?
  14. How would we explain our curriculum and learning targets to colleges and other post-secondary organizations?
  15. Why are we different from anyone else?

What other questions would you ask?

In the next article, I will work on items 1–6. I hope you will join me.

The Bell Ringers document is coming along, slowly. Feel free to check it out.

View at Medium.comView at Medium.com

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