At the beginning of the year, I asked everyone in our district at the opening convocation to consider moonshot thinking in our schools and classrooms this year. If you’ll recall, I shared how some of our country’s greatest discoveries and accomplishments resulted from individuals and groups thinking outside of the box and taking risks. I encouraged each of you to be willing to do spectacular things this year, even if some of them were way outside the traditional approach taken in most classrooms. The challenge was to do what you think would be ideal if there were no restrictions or roadblocks keeping you from doing so.
This year we’ve seen amazing results from your moonshot thinking. From huge community engagement in our middle school through STEM nights, to a cultural fair at North Newton that was shared online by educators throughout our country, to amazing innovative grant projects, to outdoor classrooms, to redesigned learning spaces – the list goes on and on with the outstanding ideas you’ve cultivated this year. I’ve seen students grow as leaders, I’ve seen teachers rekindle their love for the profession, and I’ve seen schools making long-term differences in so many students’ lives.
As the testing season approaches, please do not stress or dwell on a moment in time assessment of content. You have taught your curriculum, but that’s a small part of what you’ve done. You’ve cultivated thinkers, you’ve sparked the love of a new passion with many students, you’ve expanded horizons, and you’ve developed leaders and creative innovators. A simple written test can’t measure your impact or worth. What we want to measure is the destinies changed and lives enriched through your relationships, expertise, and compassion.