According to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, to collaborate means to work together with somebody in order to produce or achieve something. One of the competencies or skills we wish to foster in our girls is the ability to collaborate. This is an important skill that will enable their success in work and life. Opportunities to collaborate are afforded at different times and ways within our small school where Grades 1-12 learn and play under one roof.
On Friday, two alumnae from the class of 2019 popped by my office for a visit. Devynn and Victoria have settled into their engineering programs, are adjusting to life away from home, and were able to provide great perspective on necessary skills for success. They have experienced a significant amount more work being done as teams, and they shared that their confidence and skills have set them up well. They did feel, as women in a male-dominated program, that they had to prove themselves far more at the outset but were quite proud of their ability to perform well and to demonstrate their strong skills.
It is always gratifying to know when our girls’ learning experiences at SCS have set them up for success. Our faculty provide many opportunities for our girls to collaborate- not only with peers- but across grades and disciplines. Our girls are being challenged in their learning such that while they acquire content knowledge, they are learning how to learn.
Having said that, the opportunities for acquiring competencies such as collaboration go far beyond their curricular experiences.
This week was a prime example. Spirit Week, a series of friendly competitions between grades and staff including themed lip syncs and locker decorations, provides much opportunity for collaboration. On Friday, the girls’ and staff’s work was showcased and it was wonderful; however, it was the process that I believe teaches the most. Girls had to work together to choose routines, designate roles, identify practice and work times, and bring ideas to reality. There were, I am sure. bumps along the way but my impression on Friday was that all were proud of the results. Despite this collaboration being for fun- and competition- it is clear to me that opportunities such as these are equally important to the development of the art of collaboration.
I was grateful for these two examples of welcoming Alumnae back and Spirit Week to remind me of the important work we do- both inside and outside of the classroom.