What If?

Do you ever ask “what if?” questions?  Some people don’t like questions that begin this way.  They are uncomfortable with uncertainty.  They don’t like to imagine what could be, because let’s face it, it might not ever really be.  Ambiguity is scary for some.  It’s dangerous for others.  For me, asking “what if?” questions are exciting and inspiring.

Lately, I’ve been asking many “what if?” questions pertaining to school. One of my strengths from Clifton StrengthsFinder is futurist.  I love to imagine what could be.  I love to imagine possibilities and solutions to disrupt the status quo.   The possibility of it not happening or coming true doesn’t bother me.  It challenges me.  Why can’t any of these things happen in the future?  The truth of the matter is that they never will if we don’t act and BE the change.

Here are some of my current “what if?” questions I’m wrestling with and pondering lately:

  • What if school really looked like the real world?
  • What if “learners” wasn’t just a reference to students, but it was a commitment to everyone in the school?
  • What if professional development was differentiated and personalized to the meet the needs of teachers?
  • What if teachers could spend half of their day collaborating with community partners?
  • What if teacher education was similar to a medical residency?
  • What if students could personalize their learning each day?
  • What if districts and local independent schools partnered more often to share best practices and design authentic collaborative experiences for all learners?
  • What if emotional intelligence was a required component of teacher education programs?
  • What if restorative practice and emotional intelligence was intentionally infused into every school day?
  • What if there were no grades?

These questions inspire me, and they challenge me to continue my commitment to reimagining the school experience for all learners.   What are some of your favorite “what if?” questions?

Published by Alex Bragg

Alex is the Upper School Teaching and Learning Specialist at Woodward Academy in College Park, Georgia. She is passionate about student driven learning, the art of giving and receiving authentic feedback and coaching, innovation in the classroom, balanced and authentic assessment mapping, and school redesign.

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