In 2013

For the past several years, I have been asked to share what my hopes are for the coming calendar year. Some years I have written about challenges that lie ahead. Other years I have been more reflective on the challenges that had recently transpired. But this year, I am filled with excitement about what lies ahead and for what we can accomplish together at Alburnett. So, to continue the tradition…

In 2013, I hope that…

…we talk together about truly redesigning education. The future that our children will occupy is a place we have obviously never been, and many of the jobs they will perform don’t even exist today. Our yesterday is not their tomorrow. While Iowa has much to be proud of historically in the area of education, it is time to engage in real conversations about the future. Our student achievement is not necessarily slipping, our students are not achieving more poorly than in the past, it’s just that others in the U.S. and around the world are accelerating and achieving at higher levels while we stay the same.

We need to confront the issue that sometimes our history gets in the way. Most of us were educated in a system that was created for a time that no longer exists, and we have deeply held ideas about what education should look like. But the industrial age has become the knowledge age, and change now happens at the speed of light. It is time to redesign. We will need to challenge ourselves to create a new mental model for the 21st century classroom. Challenging students to collaborate, problem-solve, and think innovatively must be the norm.

So what is my hope for 2013? It is that these will be the conversations we choose to embrace as we move forward together. We are considering changes here at Alburnett that may make school look different than it has in the past. This includes such things as changes to grade level configurations, non-traditional scheduling of classes, anytime – anywhere learning, and an infusion of technology. The truth is that embracing such changes may prove challenging. With the first semester of the current school year nearly complete, more information about potential changes is just around the corner. It is my hope that every one of our conversations will be about the future, with respect for our history, but not entirely about our history. My hope is that we stay focused on children, their learning, and their future.

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About Dani Trimble

Superintendent of Schools Alburnett School District
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