Posted by Dr. Beth Reaves
No. 2. Continuous Learning
In my first year as President, I spent a lot of time learning. I was constantly asking my staff to reflect on what we do, how we do it, and why we do it that way. It was my way of understanding all the different people, perspectives, skills, and knowledge that make WSG possible. Now in my second year, I returned to this practice through my annual end-of-year check-ins with all of my staff members in order to ask them once again to reflect on their work and the work of the school.
Like our students, I believe that we can reach our full potential as a school by being open-minded and continually learning. From knowing and appreciating our students, their learning needs, and their families to understanding trends in education, teaching, learning, and brain development, it is our responsibility as educators to be constantly refining what we know about how students learn and how we can best guide them to success.
This year, WSG has undertaken several projects that provide us with the opportunity to think deeply about our students’ needs and outcomes and identify challenges to achieving our goals. In particular, we are undertaking a year-long self-study as part of a continuance of our accreditation by the Middle States Association, and we are creating our Theory of Change – a visual roadmap of how we envision our students’ educational journey and milestone achievements.
These projects provide opportunities to review every aspect of our school operations. And while the conversations and process around them can be challenging, they have given us the time and space to think more deep and strategically about our vision for the future of the school and our hope and dreams for our students as they grow into young women, ready to change the world.
For me, this continuous learning and striving for improvement is the most important work we are doing outside of the classroom. Knowing that we are raising the bar for our excellence as a school in order to raise the bar for our students’ achievement has truly been a highlight to my year.