Every profession has its inner world, full of knowledge that those on other career trajectories have never imagined. Learning about the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) Conference is an excellent way to peek into the secret lives of Maharishi School teachers and administrators, people so passionate about their calling that they take an annual road trip to the ISACS Conference solely to discuss and learn about ways to better serve our children.
There was such a quantity and variety of offerings that attendees had to pick and choose which their top priorities would be. Afterward, they reconvened to share their new knowledge and make plans for how to utilize it at Maharishi School.
Kaye Jacob, Academic Director, was impressed by the workshops about student engagement, particularly “I’m Bored: Engaging the Disengaged” with Dan St. Romain. Romain shared many tips about how to engage disinterested students and ensure learning is happening, but also emphasized the importance of teaching students that not all work will be flashy and exciting, and prompting them to discipline themselves to accomplish their less-liked tasks.
Romain writes in his blog “I’m Bored… Or Not”, “Perhaps the real issue here is our children’s insatiable need to be interested in a task in order to complete it. Having grown up in a culture of instant gratification, children seem to only attend to high-interest tasks. Unfortunately, in the real world, many mundane tasks must be completed. [as evidenced by the dirty dishes sitting in my kitchen sink…] The reality is sometimes we all have to do things we don’t like or want to do.” What a valuable life-lesson for our students!
Lower School Director Laura Bordow is pondering our ever more tech-driven classrooms and economy after attending Sam Chatlain’s talk, “Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and the Future of Learning.” Bordow explains, “Technology is our future, and we need to embrace it in relation to student needs and how we interact with each other. There are not only these revolutionary technologies to learn about and adapt to, but also student/teacher relationships and interactions, adjustments in teaching methods and styles, and the physical layout of classrooms and the entire school environment to consider.”
Beyond the individual workshops, the Maharishi School team thoroughly enjoyed bonding with their colleagues and networking with other education professionals. “I love this aspect of conferences” Jacob enthuses, “sharing knowledge with and being surrounded by people who are committed to the same profession under similar circumstances is so enriching.”
As a parent of two students at Maharishi School, I’m excited by this excitement. Thanks for your devotion to our kids, and setting the example that learning and growth never stop!