Last year a couple of my colleagues and I participated in the Bastow course, Leading Schools in the Digital Age. I really enjoyed the course because, unlike a lot of the PD available these days, it concentrated on the pedagogy of 21st C teaching rather than the hardware.
We spent 13 weeks developing a school ICT change plan and spreading our own, individual digital wings to explore the possibilities of teaching and leading in this 'new' age. The program was run by a very slick team from @dk2_econfidence who provided us with mentoring and exposed us to the ideas of some amazing world experts, including a keynote from one of my 'internet heroes' +Alec Couros .
Anyway, one of the activities we had to complete was a 60 sec movie about our ideal school. There were several criteria that I won't bore you with but the concept really got me thinking about what is important in schools these days and when we were finished we were pretty confident that our school is well on the way to the 'ideals' we strive for.
Opportunities : Despite being out the back of beyond our kids have lots of opportunities that contribute to their success later on and probably the greatest opportunity we provide is the ability to be successful while remaining in our own, wonderful country community.
United: Our small size means we have to get along. Team work is imperative for staff and students.
Resourceful: By necessity! Our teachers, parents and students are incredibly resourceful in solving the tyrannies of distance and funding.
Interesting: Curiosity is a keystone of our curriculum. We want to grow thinkers, not followers.
Dramatic: Our Performing Arts program is second to none.
Exciting: There's certainly never a dull moment.
Adventurous: School trips to Japan and New Zealand, surf camps, cycling camps, historical re enactment camps, personal development programs, we have an adventure to suit everyone.
Leadership: At our school, it's an action, not just a badge.
Successful: The success of our students after school, in all walks of life, is testament to the success of our ideals.
Connected: We've been at the forefront of tech integration since the turn of the century. A BYOD program allows 1:1 access and connectedness for all. If we can't provide it in person we can source it online. Our school community is connected in person and via any number of social media and online programs.
Helpful: I hope so. Knowing our community so closely allows help to happen when and where it's needed.
Organised: Well, mostly!
Open Doors: Come, in, look around, join in.
Life long learners: We expect our staff to continue the learning journey with our students and we hope that our kids will leave school with a thirst for learning that will nourish them throughout their lives.
And so, that's OUR IDEAL SCHOOL - and yes, the old acrostic is still the primary teacher's best stand by activity ;-)