I believe that wherever we put our thoughts and focus our thoughts is where our energy goes, and therefore, that is what will grow. If we focus our thoughts on the vision and believe in abundance, then that’s what’s going to grow. Start small. Have a bias towards action. Believe in the kids.” - Sohne Van Selus


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Summary

“All of that student-directed theory is great, but how does it play out in real life?” you might ask. What if we told you that a 12-year-old boy decided that his school needed a playground upgrade, polled the students and the community to determine needs, gathered support for his project, wrote a grant proposal, and scored a $180K grant from Great Outdoors Colorado?

This is the story that Sohne Van Selus, principal at North Arvada Middle School, shares with us as we explore the reality of what happens when the adults in education genuinely believe that their students can and must own their learning, have a voice in their process, develop critical thinking skills, self-direction, collaboration, communication competency, and personal responsibility.

Sohne and Andrew discuss the ways that a school can design and define it’s “brand,” and get the whole community in-sync and talking about it so that “cascading” results will follow. Join us to marvel at and applaud a clear-cut example of how the “rubber meets the road” when the steering wheel of ideology is put into action by a young man with a vision of where he wants to go. Adult backseat drivers are not welcome or needed here!

Quotes:

05:30 “As leaders, we have to decide what are our core values and what do we believe that learners in our building need (in order) to be ultimately successful in their lives.”

17:17 “When you actually get to witness students taking charge of their own learning and that cascading effect (in the community), it’s super powerful.”

18:30 “If we believe in our young people, give them a platform for their voice, and put tools in their hands, truly they can accomplish whatever they set their sites on.”

25:18 “I believe that wherever we put our thoughts and focus our thoughts is where our energy goes, and therefore, that is what will grow. If we focus our thoughts on the vision and believe in abundance, then that’s what’s going to grow. Start small. Have a bias towards action. Believe in the kids.”

Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion:

School Retool - http://schoolretool.org/

Deeper Learning - https://deeperlearning4all.org/

Where to learn more about the guest:

Sohne at Linkedin - linkedin.com/in/sohnevs

Sohne’s Website - edcsd.org

Sohne’s Blog - sohnespeak.blogspot.com/

Sohne on Twitter - SohneVS

Where to learn more about Enrollhand:

Our website: www.enrollhand.com

Our training on how to grow your school: https://webinar-replay.enrollhand.com

Our free Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolgrowth/

You can always reach out by emailing hello@enrollhand.com