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Teachers are Magic

Margaret Paul & Allison Isbell
The Magic of Teachers

We often describe what teachers accomplish in their classrooms with students as “magical” . . . it’s always hard to find language to fully capture all that transpires in our learning spaces at LREI.
 
However, calling this work “magical” may actually diminish what occurs . . . which is not by happenstance, but by a combination of expertise, careful thought and planning, and deep care for students. The experiences our students have everyday in the high school are carefully crafted by their teachers, who iteratively design for the students in front of them. Students learn together with their peers in their classroom spaces, and teachers learn there as well. Through observation and listening, our teachers make thoughtful choices based on the needs of the learners in front of them. 
 

 
Part of the professional work of teachers is ongoing learning and reflection about our practice. On Tuesday afternoon, we engaged in a workshop to think about setting the conditions for learning in our classrooms, and how to take a critical look at those to make meaningful adjustments so that all of our students can thrive. As a progressive school, there is only one way for teachers to engage in this thinking . . . through experience!
 

Our faculty moved through a four period day, facing learning standards in each “class” they went to. Through this process we surfaced the challenges of a fast schedule, unclear directions, vulnerability around sharing something personal, frustration with a lack of background knowledge etc. 
 

Moving through these experiences helped us think, in a new way, about our teaching practices and the ways different students experience them. We will continue this discussion in the coming weeks as we continue to build capacity for flexible thinking, iterative design, and creative problem solving for all of the learners in our classrooms.

Our LREI teachers are truly exceptional and are the reason why students thrive. We are so grateful for their commitment to excellent pedagogical practice and to the health and well-being of our students.
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