I had the opportunity to participate in a webinar through ASCD today. The topic was the “whole child”. This is a natural tenet for middle school educators, but it is interesting to see ASCD take on the issue. (You can check out the ASCD project through this link.) There were several interesting things about the webinar. There were about a dozen participants. We ranged geographically from California to New York. Our occupations ranged from State level administrators to Superintendents to Principals. It was an interesting way to discuss and share amongst people that wouldn’t have gotten together at all. It certainly was a different experience than a normal conference.
We had the opportunity to look over some of the documents and give feedback. The crux of the conversation formed around involving the community into the development of children. Part of this was focused around lobbying politicians, but most of it was very hands on about getting individuals in the community involved. This is something that is always easy in theory, but harder in practice. With everything else that is going on in school right now, this is one more “ball to throw into the air”. However, it is very important that we remember that kids are more than test scores. Please don’t misconstrue that statement. Academics is extremely important. Test scores are crucial. All kids need to achieve to high scores. However, schooling should also be about even more than that. Not at the expense of academics, but in addition.