Imagine what the world will be like in the year 2033. Imagine the technology that will be available to us. Imagine how we will interact with each other. Imagine the new discoveries that will be made by today’s young people. 2033 may seem far away, but it is actually the year that our current PreK-4 students will graduate from Upper School.
This year’s Lower School theme is Imagine. For Lower School Division Head Bridget Henderson, this simple, seven letter word has tremendous potential. “Imagine what is possible for our students if we give them fertile ground to grow,” she says. Henderson says the ability to think critically, collaborate and problem solve will be important capabilities for these students as they become adults. Simply put, they must be prepared to imagine new possibilities and imagine solutions to new problems. “The future of education is trying to inspire children and teach them how to not set limits on what they can think,” says Henderson.
Imagine is a fitting theme for a school with such a strong focus on project-based learning. The projects are student driven and student focused. “Project-based learning is not scripted,” says Henderson. “No two projects are ever the same.” Such learning experiences encourage students to explore their world and imagine more. This type of learning fosters the innovative spirit that will be needed for students entering an increasingly more technologically connected and advanced world.
Henderson says Imagine is an empowering message for students of all ages. The idea communicates support and encouragement. “If we can get the students to imagine, then we know that anything is possible,” says Henderson. At Episcopal you can find students imagining everywhere from Lower School art rooms to coding discussions in Middle School and design studio classes in Upper School. Henderson and her team are also excited to imagine the possibilities with the new Episcopal Quest Center.
Nicole says the idea came to her as the team reflected on past themes, which all shared a common thread of peace, unity and kindness. She says as the session continued someone suggested they think of songs. “Of course, the music and religion teachers were able to think of tunes right away,” she says. But for this science teacher, one song kept coming to mind – “Imagine” by John Lennon. Nicole says the song has always represented peace for her and still gives her chills each time she hears it played. Like Henderson, the word Imagine means so much to Engstrom. “Imagine kindness everywhere, imagine what could happen if you send that letter, imagine how world leaders would respond, imagine your impact, imagine the possibilities, just imagine,” she says. Engstrom says it was an honor to be invited to the theme-planning discussion. “It was a team effort,” she says. “I just said a word.”
That one word was confirmed when Lower School Religion Teacher Laura Portwood read: “God has more in store for you than you can ever imagine.”
The 2019/2020 school year is sure to be a memorable and important year for the Episcopal community. It is likely to be better than we can imagine.
Can you imagine what life will be like in 2033? Share your thoughts below.