Attention Department Head Disorder


I am working on two things simultaneously. Well, actually three if you want to throw in eliminating my lower back pain. The first is teaching a digital literacy class that asks students to create a digital portfolio based on a personal mission connected to the school’s learning goals and mission statement. The second is conducting walk throughs of the students in my digital literacy class to see if they are making any connections at all across their classes. They are not. Yet.

One of my students has created a personal mission statement that includes values of compassion and helping others. She is tying it in with our core values around international culture and compassion. She was sleeping during a French class that I observed when a pertinent video about a family drama was playing that exemplified exactly the core values that she had decided to focus on. It was brilliant.

Except that she hadn’t made the connection. It was simply another class, disconnected from all the other classes, forty minutes before lunch and one hour before science.

Attention department heads, for there is a disorder amongst us.

Are you facilitating conversations with your staff around the curricular connections during a students’ day?
Have you ever ‘shadowed’ a student to observe how disconnected their day is, let alone exhausting?
Does your staff have time to compare notes and work together to make those connections themselves?

We all know that ‘interdisciplinary’ and ‘cross curricular’ is something we tend to ignore until an accreditation team rolls up. We’re just too busy to think about these things. And yet, this is at the heart of learning.

I will keep you posted on the portfolios my students are updating as they (hopefully) start making the connections. And yes, I will talk to the girl about the French class video. It was about a little boy whose parents were splitting up and leaving him with relatives…A perfect anecdote for her portfolio on culture and compassion.

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