Danielle and I sat there listening, smiling, nodding, clapping. What we really wanted to do was stand up and whoop while doing some major fist pumping, but as we were in a university lecture hall that seemed unwise. So we contained ourselves and clapped vigorously instead. We were listening to Maureen Dockendorf, the newly appointed British Columbia Superintendent of Early Years, a position jointly shared between the Provincial Office for the Early Years and the Ministry of Education. This is a woman with clout on the BC education front, a woman who has been collaborating with teachers across the province to spearhead a transformation of the BC curriculum, shifting how we think about educating our children.
And her message?
Her message is not about the curriculum at all. Her message is this:
What matters most is not the curriculum, not the content. What matters most are the kids.
Welcome conversation, listen to stories of students, spend time, pay deep attention, get to know them.
Be present in the moment for those children, you are not in a rush. (She repeated “You are not in a rush” multiple times, pointing her finger at the audience)
Children come with funds of knowledge, understandings that we need to pay attention to.
We are not covering curriculum, we are covering children.
It is about the process of becoming.
Don’t you want to stand up and whoop and fist pump too?
(The revised curriculum can be found here.)