When we begin a new year, we notice the challenges facing education and society. It doesn’t take long to find news accounts that underscore the problems we humans have created for ourselves. Yet, in spite of challenges, our teachers educate, engage, and empower our students in learning every day.
When Apple, Inc. recently designated us an Apple Distinguished School (see: www.prweb.com/releases/2013/1/prweb10299431.htm) it reminded me of the authentic power that is unleashed by focusing on strengths. As Cecily Stock, our interim head of school, pointed out at an event announcing this distinction, we are at our best when we are authentically “San Domenico.” When school leaders, teachers, and supporters of the school began discussing the next steps in the School’s educational technology planning in 2009 and early 2010, it was tempting to work on immediate needs involving buying technology “stuff.” Instead, we reflected on strengths of the school. We appreciated how closely tied technology could be to the excellent student-centered teaching that was already happening throughout our PreK-12 learning community.
As we begin the New Year in earnest, I’d like to suggest that we continue to focus on our strengths as a way to move forward with the challenges that might be in our path. We are an Apple Distinguished School, today, because of the hard work of our teachers, staff, supporters, and – most critically – students. The widespread support in our teaching community took the strength of our teaching and enhanced that with iPads and other integrated technology. When we work on our strengths, our learning is engaged and effective.
Christopher K. Sokolov
Director of Technology