St Nicholas School Sao Paulo Brazil
It was -15 when I left Peacham Vermont to travel to Sao Paulo and + 88 when I arrived. Peacham was sparkly white and Sao Paulo was lush and green, they eiptomised winter and summer I was struck by the contrasts but also by the similarities. In Vermont they often say “You can’t get there from here” this is usually because there is a mountain in the way and the road goes the long way round to connect 2 places. Sao Paulo gave new meaning to the term. From my hotel room I could easily see St Nicholas School my destination, it was 5 min walk away, but walking was not recommended, particularly with a laptop, camera, i-pad and phone. Each morning a driver would meet me and each night, a driver would bring me home. The journey averaged between 10 and 45 minutes depending on traffic and was far from a direct or straight line. From rural Vermont to urban Sao Paulo the term “You can’t get there from here” holds meaning.
St Nicholas School is intimate and comfortable. Though housed in an imposing central building, the trees and the closeness of neighboring homes turned into school buildings makes it a welcoming place. Both inside and outside spaces are well utilized. Most of all the staff is welcoming from the drivers to the support staff everyone made this visitor feel at home.
It is always fun returning to a school. The first visit is often tentative, so many unknowns but returning you know the lay of the land and the people, though the names may escape you the faces do not and information floods back. This enables you to build on past experiences and take off from where you left off even though it is 10 months hence since the last visit.
I am proud of the work St Nicholas is doing. They have plunged in! The 15 facilitators trained last year have now each facilitated 4 CFG/PLC sessions. They came back together to debrief, problem solve and plan for the next 4 sessions they will embark on this term. I believe our work together prepared them for this and will enable them to build on the successes from this fall. Additionally a new group stepped up to learn more and I believe these folks will be important allies moving ahead. Finally the leadership team reflected and considered the work and discussed the goal of the initiative, to create a culture shift at St Nicholas where a culture of thinking and learning is evident not only for students but for teachers and leaders as well.