The spice of (school) life.

Until recently, I might have been considered as something of a “food snob”. I’m not sure if that’s the right word to describe someone who is particular about what they eat; where they eat; and with whom they eat.

Nevertheless, I recently found myself in a position that I was comfortable enough to eat from the same salad bowl as someone who is not in my immediate family. In fact – little secret – I shared my drink bottle with this person too.

This takes me to last night. Two very special friends wanted to thank my husband for assisting them. This “thank you” was to take the form of  a dinner . In the city. At a place I had never been. And worse – I had never eaten food like they served. Before the “sharing'” experienced, I might have requested a less foreign location.

I decided to embrace my new found spirit of adventure and go with flow. Let me tell you, the delicious servings on my shared plates were not the only food for thought.

This is what I noticed:

  1. Every person working (late in the night) looked happy. They laughed with their patrons and colleagues; shared personal stories and asked meaningful questions.
  2. They looked like they owned the place. Although they were wearing aprons and carrying food, they owned it and looked professional in every way.
  3. They knew what they were talking about. Their passion for what they were doing was tangible in every glass of water they poured.
  4. They were trusted. The owner was away and they were in charge.
  5. They were happy to share what they knew and listen to feedback from customers.
  6. The communication between staff was explicit and implicit. There were no hidden secrets; but customers only saw what was needed.
  7. They told us that they are regularly acknowledged – time off,  being part of the owner’s new ventures and being allowed to taste and help make new items for the menu.

This all made me think, as usual, about (school) life.

  1. Are we happy to be at school? Do we laugh and have fun or is there is a designated time for this?
  2. Do teachers and children own what they do by sharing and listening?
  3. Do learners (young and old) have a choice about what they do and how they do it? Do they feel passionate about their days?
  4. Do leaders trust their staff and reward their efforts? Do teachers see this modelled and pass it on to their learners?
  5. Is there sharing and listening to ideas and feedback?
  6. Do we communicate? Do we allow everyone to have a say?
  7. Do we acknowledge people who put in effort? Do we encourage participation and innovation?

How can this help us to make (school) life more like a restaurant filled with exotic spices, attentive waitrons and delicious, tantalising dishes? How do we give every learner (adult or child) the chance to feel that “own it”?

About Jina Belnick

I am a full time learner - tumbling head first into education and joining my learners on the amazing adventures that we encounter daily at our PYP school in Melbourne, Australia.I am currently working in learning support, feeling the waters and seeing how teachers and learners are best supported, I am a listener and a leader, an inquirer and a follower. I'm loving the ride!
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2 Responses to The spice of (school) life.

  1. Limor Glazer says:

    Jina, loved this post!! Beautiful. I totally agree! Thank you 🙂


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