Monday, April 07, 2014


Today at Clear Spring School, we have our ISACS accreditation team visiting. These educators from around the central US will be combing through our school from the top to the bottom and will be guests in the Clear Spring School wood shop. We have been preparing for this day for years, by carefully examining everything we do, and preparing self-study reports that serve the study team as the foundation for their visit.

These ISACS team members will observe our school, make commendations and recommendations and generally help us to become a better school and each of us become better teachers. Some readers may recall that I participated as a visiting ISACS team member two years ago. It is an enriching experience, seeing first hand how others approach classroom learning. The job of the visiting team is first to make certain that our school meets ISACS standards, and then to learn and grow from there as colleagues in education.

I am excited about the walking robot project that we will begin today. The robots require meeting measurable standards in how the parts are cut. Are the ends of each piece square? Are the holes marked and drilled in exactly the right place? In some things, you can get by with faulty workmanship, but if you are making a thing that is supposed to work, it makes sense to adhere to certain standards that are intrinsic to the object. Whether you are in school or out, making things of value and beauty and that actually work is a transforming experience.

I found this experiment in building your own tiny house to be encouraging. The tiny house maker concluded, "If you are open to making mistakes, you people, yeah, make, try, create..." It almost sounds like she's been reading this blog.

Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

  1. Doug,

    No doubt you'll hear that your program works well. In a sense what the team is measuring is whether you follow some sort of "common core" program of skills teaching. But the way you do that makes so much more sense than the standardized tests used by most schools.