So much of what we read in the media today about schools revolves around the bare minimum. Labour battles, unions, governments – it all creates a real mess for our students, all of whom deserve to transcend the minimum each day.

Minimums are something that we quickly get used to. Some think (though I disagree) that most students spend a fair amount of their team figuring out where the level of minimum effort is. They say the same about teachers. At our school, we never see this. We see engagement, each and every day. We see teachers who arrive early and stay late, not out of obligation, but out of a commitment to deliver the maximum that they can for their students, for themselves.

Everything has a starting point, so I wonder where the disconnect began and I know that parents wonder this as well. Every week I hear stories from our parents about low levels of engagement at their child’s previous school. To parents of children with learning disabilities and learning style differences, the disconnect often begins and ends at the intersection of understanding and commitment. It’s remarkably difficult to be committed to something you don’t understand. If a teacher doesn’t understand a student and a student in turn feels lost in a system that doesn’t work for or with him or her, we have a void.

There are no schools that are a perfect fit for every student. We need to divest ourselves of the notion that there are, just as we need to get beyond the idea that the measure of a given day or week or academic year should be the least that we can do for each other. We all need to aim as high as we can, every single day. That’s the bare minimum we owe our students.

Don Adams, Head of School

Oct 29th, 2012 – The Bare Minimum