When I was a young teacher, I had an ongoing joke with a colleague in which we would occasionally, especially when things got a bit hectic, walk into each other’s classrooms and exclaim, “It’s another great day in the history of education!” As I have gotten older, now well over 20 years into my career, I continue to be reminded of how lucky I have been to work as an educator.
These last few months, though unprecedentedly difficult and stressful, have reinforced to me that every day, in fact, is a great day in education. With the world in turmoil over an ongoing pandemic and a contested election South of our border, the work of teaching and learning just rolls on and on. At Rowntree, through the period of physical closure from March to June and through our concurrent model since September, we have all been so thoroughly engrossed with doing whatever we can to keep the school moving forward, that the challenges in the wider world don’t seem as daunting. Our oldest students, especially, have been captivated by our society’s recent focus on racial injustice, and our classrooms are regularly filled with discussion and action about solving real-world “wicked problems” through our STEM programme.
However, despite any challenges or chaos that may appear beyond our classroom walls, there is something fundamentally good and grounding about a child designing a ‘spacecraft’ to protect a falling egg from breaking, or leafing through the pages of a new dictionary, or solving a very difficult Math problem. Last week wasn’t “election week” for our students, and the rising COVID numbers and changing public health restrictions in the community were not our focus. It was just another week in their Rowntree education, and it was a great one! Want to see exactly how we do this? Watch this little video production I put together that displays some of our incredible students’ work and achievements over the past week.
Mr. J. Harris, Director of Education, Rowntree Montessori Schools