Why We Go Back to School | Hooray for Monday

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August 14, 2023

By Aleta Margolis, Founder and President

Hooray for Monday is a weekly blog filled with questions, ideas, reflections, and actions we can all take to remodel the school experience for students.

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It’s already mid-August, and that means school is starting soon. For some of us, it has already started. We go back to school because, well, it’s time to go back. We go back to school for other reasons too, and it’s worth taking a moment to articulate those reasons.

During Inspired Teaching’s professional development sessions, we often ask, “Why do children go to school?“ The answers range from, “because it’s the law” to “to learn and grow“ to “for the free breakfast and lunch” to “because kids’ parents make them” to “to build the skills they will need for leadership roles in their communities, and our country.”

The simple question, “Why do we go to school?” tends to generate dozens, sometimes hundreds of responses. There are many reasons we — both students and teachers — go to school, and it’s worth taking some time to think about why, beyond the fact that it’s time to turn the page on the calendar.

I’ve been writing a lot about School Connectedness, as a powerful antidote to the mental health crisis that is still affecting so many young people. School Connectedness doesn’t happen automatically just because kids and teachers show up in the building. School Connectedness is something that requires thoughtful planning and preparation, and focused attention on our students’ needs as well as their strengths.

In the coming weeks, my colleagues and I will be joined by national education experts to have conversations about School Connectedness, and to discover concrete strategies teachers can utilize in order to make school a place where students, and teachers, feel needed, wanted, and valued.

We’ll hear from Trabian Shorters, CEO of BMe Community, about how words matter, and how to implement asset framing as the foundation of school connectedness.

We’ll hear from Ann B. Friedman, CEO of Planet Word Museum, about how to use written and spoken language to create connection.

We’ll hear from Dana Mortenson, CEO of World Savvy, about how building global competence is a path to building connection with those in your community and beyond.

What if we went back to school to establish meaningful connections, and fuel our sense of belonging?

Wishing you a week, and a year, ahead filled with meaningful, intentional connections with everyone who makes up your school community. 

Hooray For Monday is an award-winning weekly publication by Center for Inspired Teaching, an independent nonprofit organization that invests in and supports teachers. Inspired Teaching provides transformative, improvisation-based professional learning for teachers that is 100% engaging – intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Our mission is to create radical change in the school experience – away from compliance and toward authentic engagement.

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