In my “real job,” I work with early stage companies, many of them technology related. I find the work fascinating, and I always learn something from each of them along the way. One of my current sells a “Life Game” that uses gamification technology to help make life improvement accessible to everyone so I’ve recently been immersed in the science behind behavioral change and life improvement concepts in general.
One concept that I’ve learned about is this idea of setting an “affirmation”—which is basically visualizing the positive outcome that you’re looking for as a forgone conclusion. It started to make me think, maybe we’ve been fighting so hard about what is so wrong or not wrong about this School Bond, that we’ve forgotten to notice what’s so right about it. I’m definitely not an expert at this idea of affirmation, but here’s my attempt at painting the picture that I can imagine in relation to this school bond passing:
I see a learning environment that supports the Mercer Island School District’s 2020 Vision. I see schools where our students have space for personalized learning and adaptive spaces for project collaboration—they’re listening to a lecture, learning on their own, and collaborate with others—based on their individualized needs. They’re working wireless, with devices and integrated technology that connect them to each other and the world around them. Our students are fulfilling the vision – “preparing to thrive in the cognitive, digital, and global world while sustaining their passion and inspiration for learning.”
I see schools that fully support our outstanding educators. I see facilities that take full advantage of the expertise and best practice teaching that our educators are doing today. These buildings give room to bring to life their innovative ideas and project-based learning initiatives. They give our teachers their own spaces for collaborating and sharing, and integrated technology at their fingertips. They give them science rooms that are designed for teaching science, adequate performance spaces, and art rooms that support multi-day projects. They offer common areas that allow our Principals to bring their school, parents and teachers together and build community and pride.
I see a healthy school environment for our kids and our community. I see schools that have been built using sustainability best practices that reduce our carbon footprint and even offer an environment to teach those practices to future generations. We have schools that are set back off streets, improving the traffic and safety of our students, maybe new sidewalks that encourage more students to walk. Our facilities have natural light, low VOC, and kitchens where fresh food can be prepared. They meet new earthquake standards and are equipped to provide shelter to our entire community in the case of a disaster.
I see each Mercer Island school facility as a place of pride for all Islanders. They are busy, bustling centers of community where residents of all ages are connecting. I see new space for fields where people meet and play as efficient two-story schools replace existing sprawling schools. I see community members meeting in our schools on evenings, maybe weekends or utilizing the additional performance spaces that are now available. I see a city government that knows the master plan for our schools, so can weave additional city needs in appropriately. Our property values increase as the recovery happens and young families want to come to the Island for our schools. I see a community who has once again put education at the forefront.
Wow. That idea feels good, doesn’t it?