Sunday, February 28, 2016

This is What a Mission-Based Student-Centered School Culture Looks Like

To quote Max H and his Student Council Meeting notes of last week, "You may have heard of the 'Note.'" If you were in Ms Stiles' class last week, or in Mr Mattson's, or in Doc Weaver's, or in Senor Woodward's, then you may have discussed it. --And, of course, Riley H (or the Artist, as Max calls her) posted a great response to it on Schoology. 
Riley's artwork, created in response to Senor Woodward's assignment.
Senor Woodward's description of the assignment
As Senor says, Riley's work proved without a doubt that art challenges cultural perspectives. 
Riley's response to the note-writer.

The responses on Schoology, as of this morning.
When the Administration tells you that it wants Marshall students to "own" the school's culture, this is what they're talking about. When something happens that is inconsistent with our Mission, they want you to call it out, as Riley did. 

The writer of the "Note" was neither respectful, nor self-disciplined, nor compassionate. There is little integrity in an anonymous note. There might have been some intellectual curiosity in the "Note," but that curiosity was unlikely to be satisfied by leaving such a note. 

The "Note."
The ideas and events that inspired Riley's artwork are important and worthy of civil discussion. And disagreement about those ideas is possible, though there are logical flaws with the note-writer's argument, flaws I hope that most students can identify. 

The popular media of our country does not have the same values that our school does. The Mission asks us to stand against the tide of disrespectful and intellectually-impoverished pseudo-ideas we encounter.

No one who dies, in any way, is just a "drop in the ocean." Let's all try to be more compassionate and build a better school culture. In fact, I challenge my students, especially my seniors, to think and discuss with me this week how they can be true leaders, leaders who help create a more Mission-based student-centered school culture.

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