A willingness to take risks leads to new discoveries and innovations.
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It’s an exciting time to be a Dawson Middle School student!
When we think about educating our students, four imperative skills come to mind: creativity—the ability to think outside the box; collaboration—the ability to work together and learn from one another; critical thinking—learning how to evaluate and synthesize information in our increasingly digital world; and communication—understanding written, verbal, and body language to more effectively work with others.
Teachers are finding multiple ways to empower students to utilize these skills, whether they are making an iMovie project using the preterit tense in Spanish, researching malaria and making plans for distributing mosquito nets to villages in Botswana, creating an iBook or a video game about the nervous system, or building polyhedrons out of gumdrops and toothpicks.
The Dawson Virtues
For kids to really feel comfortable taking risks in the classroom, on the stage, or on the athletic field, we encourage them by modeling our four virtues:
Respect: we want our students to work collectively in support of one another.
Compassion: we want our students to recognize that they are part of a larger world and to be positive stewards of their community.
Courage: we want our students to take risks and step outside of their comfort zones.
Integrity: ultimately, we want our students to do the right thing.
At the start of each year students put these virtues into action with the creation of a Middle School Constitution, which is signed by all members of the community and displayed as a daily reminder in the Kiva.
A Sense of Community
Our Middle School is a wonderful community of innovation and inclusion. The culture of the Middle School is such that students feel a strong sense of belonging and know that the community supports them. This enables them to take risks with a willingness to fail and learn from their mistakes.