Evolving Educators

drawing hands by mc escher
“Drawing Hands” by M.C. Escher

Escher’s “Drawing Hands” lithograph is a wonderful presentation of one of the exciting characteristics in the education format at LiHigh school.

At LiHigh, our visionary staff comes ready and prepared for each student’s learning adventure, and that doesn’t mean simply filling paperwork with a set of activities designed to fit a certain amount of time.

We each bring a unique set of previously acquired knowledge, life experiences, motivation to learn, preferred learning modalities, emotional and social engagement styles, wishes and desires, and more. What we all share, though, is the intent to engage in a continuous creation of the educational model at LiHigh.

This approach does not stem from bashing other educational models and is not about re-inventing the wheel. What we value is the most appropriate educational focus and how it should be experienced in a meaningful long-lasting manner.

In this educational model, we ask ourselves what is the essential question we would like to attend to, and why? What priorities present themselves when we focus on a topic from a cognitive, social, emotional, and spiritual perspective?  How much “room” do we take as educators and how much “room” do we empower the students to take to achieve an authentic learning experience? And lastly, how do we know that we have achieved our goals and to what extent we’ve been successful?

One of the interesting challenging in this educational model is predicting specific outcomes. Even though we attempt to be methodical in our planning stages, we also take into consideration incidental learning: those moments that lead to new learning or a new awareness, something that was not anticipated and yet is as powerful and long lasting as what we initially expected. Those teachable moments are valuable and are in a way, the external presentation of authentic learning.

As we continue to engage in our ever-growing vision for the LiHigh School model, we share an openness to engage in these meaningful teachable moments. The image that comes to mind is a vision of harvesting “Aha! moments.”

As educators we continue to evolve by asking ourselves the same questions we ask our students. Because we all share this intent and openness to grow, I am positively charged by our differences as educators. Our environment is growing richer and fuller with each unique contribution. This is what  good education should look like, and this is what it feels like as an educator working in an environment where it is safe to explore new ideas to learn and grow as a school and as a community.