Good afternoon IA families,

What beautiful few days we have had. I’m happy to get the summer heat behind us. Please encourage your kids to get out and spend some time enjoying the weather.

I wanted to take a minute talking about the bells. I feel like I have been initiated into principalship because I got my first petition last week titled “Bring Back the Bells!” When the students brought it to me, the first thing I did was apologize for not rolling it out better. For these students, changing something so ingrained in school was bigger than I expected.

With that in mind, I sat down with these brave students who brought the petition to me, and we went over my rationale for why we don’t have bells.

We started talking about change which can be disruptive but leads to positive outcomes. We then spoke a little about first principles thinking – the idea that you should find the root cause of a problem and then work up from the most fundamental elements to find the best way solution. This is contrary to reasoning by analogy, where we look at how something similar has been done in the past and try to replicate it. Reasoning by analogy works for a while, but at some point, it strays so far away from its initial purpose, it becomes counterproductive.

Thinking in those terms, we talked about the mission of IA, to develop innovative leaders for a dynamic world, and how the method of starting and ending class affected that mission.

They came up with this T-chart to look at benefits of each system.

After we finished, I asked them which of these better supported our general mission. They left with a new perspective.  

I could spend a long time talking about this topic and how this small thing can make a difference in the focus of the school, but I won’t. Mostly, I’m excited to have courageous students who feel strongly enough to share differing opinions with me. Their willingness to argue the point led me to realize I haven’t been clear on the reason for this change. I hope this post helps explain my thinking better.

Let me know what you think!

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Bells or No Bells?

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