Thursday, December 8, 2011

Staying Ahead of the Curve!

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to attend the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.  I always enjoy participating because the day-to-day business of running a school system can sometimes distract us from our broader mission.  This conference provides time to stop and think about the core work that we do in schools and motivates me to refocus on our primary goal, improving teaching and learning.  This year's meeting was particularly inspiring as Heidi Hayes Jacobs, one of my educational role models (she is a bit of a rock star in curriculum circles!), provided a full day of workshops.  What I have always admired about HHJ is that she recognizes that good teaching is timeless and that good practice aims to stay ahead of the curve.  Whether it was her campaign to promote interdisciplinary studies in the 90s, her common sense movement to promote curriculum mapping in the early 2000s, or her current fight to infuse our pedagogy with 21st century tools and skills, she has always had the ability to stay ahead of the curve and identify forward thinking practices. Her belief is that the current mission of schools is to design classrooms that build student capacity for the future and not to replicate the learning environment existed when we all attended school.  I wholeheartedly concur!
This is the exciting work that is ahead of us!