At the very core of our STEAM Initiative is the inclusiveness of all its aspects. It is our objective to impact each student in each of his classes, allowing him to experience an holistic academic culture. Throughout my research, travels, and conversations I have discovered that the cornerstone of our initiative, without debate, are the people within the Rockhurst community. Our creativity, our desires to improve, our professionalism, our care for our students, our openness to new ideas…these are paramount to meeting our objectives. No purchasing of materials or building new structure can meet what we can do as teachers. We are STEAM.

As many of you are aware the STEAM team is meeting with each faculty member to listen, to discuss the initiative, and to collect ideas. What started out as an ambitious task has turned into many fascinating conversations. Each conversation has left me with several new perspectives and ideas that we had not considered. While we certainly appreciate everyone’s time, I hope you understand that what you shared is impacting what we are doing.

In essence, each discussion is about educational philosophy, which is a healthy conversation to have. One conversation reminded me that we are present in the lives of our students to teach and develop skills, then offer opportunities to apply these new skills. What is the most effective manner to asses skill? I could not imagine a more important conversation.

STEAM….Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math…..where are the rest of the departments? What is missing? The acronym presents a challenge in that is does not completely support what we as a school are attempting to do. I fully expect in the future for this to be addressed because I agree with the statement and its important.

Do today’s students, the one we see each day in our classroom, grow through the regiment of traditional worksheets, quizzes, and tests? Rather, what can Project Based Learning bring to our students? How many areas of their lives can PBL impact?

How much more can we truly take advantage of technology in our classrooms? There has been a great deal of progress in the integration of technology in our classrooms, but we can do so much more.

We are taking dream trips, developing ideas, and implementing new concepts…..and its not all going to be perfect. Understanding that mistakes will happen and not all ideas will flow with perfection is important so that we know that its okay to back up and try it again in a different manner.

How can we create a collaborative, interdisciplinary culture? Creativity and conversation. Teachers, not administrators and not professionals outside our building, create concepts and strategies where classes are collaborating on projects. This creates a culture where classes blend together, not set up barriers.

It has been a tremendous joy to meet with teachers. I am always left with the thought, “I am so glad they are at Rockhurst, our initiative needs them.”