If You Could Start A School, What Would It Look Like?

Have you ever stopped to dream about what your perfect school would look like?

Have you ever slipped off into a day-dream about what you’d do if you ran a school?

If it’s like me, this thought may have come up during a staff meeting (shhhh, I didn’t say that).

But that thought… what you’d do if you ran a school, is a great thought experiment.

What would your perfect school look like? Do your teachers grow from their outside hobbies and passions?

If you were to start a school from scratch, what would you add in, and more imporantly, what would you take away?

The role of your school (and how you fulfill it)

It may be a little silly to think of the ‘role’ of your school. Because, well, schools have a well defined role already.

Or do they…

Personally, I define the role of a school as a place that prepares youth to be ready for adulthood. This means in an educational sense, along with a social, emotional sense.

So, in order to get to that goal, my ideal school would focus on teaching the social and emotional skills needed for adulthood. The school would also teach the skills needed for the workforce that students are about to enter, not the one that others grew up in.

Pedagogy and teaching strategies

The schooling system is in a state of flux at the moment.

In fact, I think it’ll be a massive ten years for the education industry.

The days of teachers being an oracle of knowledge at the front of the room are long-gone. Now, limiting students’ knowledge to what a teacher knows is malpractice; There are so many ways to get information.

However, with that added information, there is a need to know how to collate information along with the need to know which information you should trust.

Teaching students to critique information and develop an opinion is so important. Otherwise, we educate sheep that will believe any article they read and any video they watch.

Along with knowing how to critique others’ work, we also need to think about the role of our school when teaching.

If we want students to be innovative, compassionate and have empathy, then we need to teach those skills.


One of the fun parts is thinking about what your perfect school would look like.

Do you have much room for collaboration? How do you make your area engaging for students and teachers?

Seen Magazine showed that having teacher input for school design is a missed opportunity, as most school buildings are created by designers who will never use the classroom.

“Intuitively, we know that design matters. Teachers have long compensated for dull environments by creating colourful bulletin boards and hanging posters. They have attempted to improve their space with area rugs and carefully placed bookshelves. Teachers know that design matters; however, all too often, they are not invited into the design process, which we see as a missed opportunity.”


Wrapping up

The best thing about thinking about the perfect school is that every perfect school is different. What you see as perfect will be different to what I see.

What would you include in your perfect school?

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