Delta School District had their “Celebration of Inquiry” Day today where Schools could set up examples of how their inquiry questions/projects worked in their schools. This was a way to share ideas, examples, some good food and great conversations. As a TOC I went because I feel strongly about inquiry and where it might lead our students into their future but I had to resist feeling shy when asked what school I am from! Instead I was just proud that I have the opportunity to see what inquiry is like from all the schools! One day I’ll have one I call my own, but for now, I’m going to enjoy being able to call the entire District my home.
Right off the bat I was excited about how excited people were to share and showcase what they have experienced over the past year! An older blog post had me confused about Science Fairs and calling for an Inquiry Fair. That’s what I got here at the Delta Manor! Teachers with booths all about their inquiry! The questions they started off with and the questions that they have now!
Social Emotional Learning was a significant part of most schools inquiry projects and I found many fantastic ideas/examples throughout the rooms. One in particular was Hawthorne’s Sensory Room. I’ve TOC’ed at Hawthorne for only a few days this year but one thing I did notice was the sense of unity and school pride over building the lid chandelier for their Sensory Room. I remember being in the staff room and a teacher being shocked that she forgot her lid to her empty shampoo bottle. She described how pretty and unusual it was and that she was so excited to bring it in and thought her students would love it! I asked her, “not to be rude but why are you so weird about your lid?” She laughed and explained that the whole school was coming together to collect lids in order to build a chandelier that would move around and sway in their Sensory room. When I got back to class and asked the students about it – everyone was excited about building this thing that they could all contribute to! The school pride and unity was wonderful to see.
The only students I found (other than the teachers being students of teaching/inquiry) were from Heath Traditional Elementary. I loved seeing students explain how inquiry and SEL worked in their school and for them – because isn’t this what it’s all about! Lots of schools had writing or video clips of students and what they thought of inquiry – but here they were in person and ready to share and answer your questions! Fantastic!
Naturally, I was all over the Learning in Depth tables and to see the kinds of projects/learning students were undertaking and different grade levels. I was very excited to have some space and time to talk to other LiD fanatics! I’ll be writing a more “in depth” (I should really stop with this pun) post about my thoughts on how LiD is sitting in my head at the ending of a very busy and messy (good kind of mess!) kind of year.
As I was walking through the rooms one last time I couldn’t help but reminisce about my decision to work in Delta. I chose Delta because they hooked me with their “Big Bold Vision” and with their follow through. I feel that the success of companies, and in this case a district, is really dependant upon their vision, how much they believe in it, and how hard they work to make that happen. I looked around and saw all these teachers and administrators, on their own time, sharing and learning together to help make that vision happen. I’m inspired.