If money were no object, what experiences would I want my students to have? Wow. What a question. One problem with this scenario is that money is an object and always has been. So I haven't maybe been able to dream as big as I could/should, because I can't imagine it.
Here's an idea I had. Let's involve kids in all things school. I think students should research how to improve school lunches and then do it. From the trip to the grocery store to the preparation to the baking/cooking and serving. I would like to see these lunches be full of whole foods and not processed. I think students should decide what they learn about and research that and figure out the best way to do this. I think students should have (some) say in what time school begins and ends. Because let's face it, teenagers' bodies function on a different clock than ours do. That is a little bitty snippet into what I think. This isn't just an experience, but a concept. And even within this concept, I don't know what experiences particularly I would like my students to experience. I would like my students to know peace and serenity in the classroom and to know that they are the future of our nation. I don't mean I want to occasionally spout rhetoric about how they are the future, I mean I want to teach in a way that plants an understanding in their heart, both of the fact that they are the nation of the future and that they have to power to do whatever they desire. How do I do that and what does that cost? I am not sure. Pray a lot perhaps. Which is something I felt heavy on my heart yesterday, the need to remember the power of prayer. I can't teach my beliefs and I can't bend student's beliefs, but I can cling tightly to mine. And I can remember to pray for my students often. I don't know all their names yet. But I can pray just the same.
I just thought of something that I would like for the students at our school to experience. Public Education at its finest. What I mean by that is~ I would like for them to experience music daily, art more than one time a week-- even daily-- do you know what it does for their minds to access their creativity?! I would like them to experience band and choir and sports. We are a small, dare I say it-- fledgling school-- and one of the concerns I have about bringing my daughter here is that they don't have some of the "extras" that can be real bonding experiences for students. My daughter was involved in a community choir last year, but since she will attending school outside our county, we are no longer eligible to be a part of that. Well, choir was the equivalent of sports for us. She had a group she "fit" with, she learned about commitment and how to work hard even when she didn't feel like it, she learned about fund-raising and facing her personal fears and phobias for the greater good. And then she learned about independence and trust on the trip when she went to Nashville with the choir and sponsors and left her home and family for 7 days for Spring Break last year.
I want this for my child and for our school. Creative expression, sports and the team feeling that provides, and bonding experiences that teach children about commitment and determination.
Whew. I am glad I thought of something. At first I felt like I was cheating on the challenge in this post. But those are the experiences I hope my students can experience. Maybe not all of them this year, but I hope we can fight for this and really expand the vision for our school and soon.