After twenty years of educational leadership, I found something remarkable at Westside School - a community of students and teachers living a commitment to a growth mindset. Whether you are learning to read, to compose or to code, at Westside the meaning of a “growth mindset” has many layers – authentic curiosity, openness to possibility, resilience in response to missteps, and a willingness to present one’s voice with clarity and confidence. It’s a place for deep, joyful learning, and for expanding our capacity to think, create, perform and do for others.
That may be why our pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms are so full of laughter and discovery, but it is also the reason Westside School students go on to thrive in high schools across Seattle. It’s certainly this vision of learning that propels our teaching across the school. The educational philosopher Parker Palmer might have been thinking of Westside School teachers when he said,“Good teachers possess a capacity for connectedness. They are able to weave a complex web of connections among themselves, their subjects, and their students so that students can learn to weave a world for themselves.”
We invite our students to consider what and how their stories will unfold. When you come visit, I hope you will notice the ways our school helps each student begin to author their own experience. It’s a combination of diverse approaches to teaching, a strong commitment to developing creativity and, the practice of experiential opportunities that give context and meaning to the work we do in the classroom.
Indeed, as you explore, you’ll find these three central Westside Stories shape our website:Learning made personal, teaching made relevant
Creativity is an intrinsic part of learning at Westside School
Learning without boundaries
We look forward to meeting and sharing stories with you in person,
Ted Kalmus, Interim Head of School