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Thinking, Creating, Reflecting: Impacting the Future

Letter from the Principal: Feb. 8, 2019

Dear Spectrum Families and Friends,

As I was getting to work today, I was reflecting on the truly interesting thinking that has been going on with the Future Problem Solving students. We have been prepping for a competition tomorrow, and I have noticed that these students are thinkers, risk-takers, and collaborators. What I have also noticed about Spectrum students in general is a real appreciation of learning for learning’s sake, which sometimes means the academic and achievement hoops are less important to them. They have learned to question, “Why?” They sometimes resist doing the tedious and less exciting tasks, like writing with strong support or showing their work. This is true for students in general, and true for our wonderful students at Spectrum as well.

I shared on the Spectrum Principal Facebook page a part of the Progressive Education Networks’ latest publication which was reflecting on “what do we really want from our children?” Would you prefer compassion over competition, or would that make you fear for their vulnerability? Would you rather them be sincere or “smart”? Luckily, it is not either/or, but both/and. However, I have found it challenging to come from a super-competitive hard core academic high-achieving school driven by test scores and academic accolades to a school that questions by its philosophy the value of achieving for achieving’s sake.

We cultivate thinkers and creators and “wonderers” without compromising academic integrity, but it takes a lot more work. It is gratifying to see and experience the learning going on, even without grades or sanctions. I sometimes wonder if parents give much thought to how unique this dynamic is, a school that values the child and the learning over the number and grade. As you consider what you want for your child, I encourage you to reflect on this amazing aspect of Spectrum School.

Dr. Mary Beth Cunat

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