Systems thinking naturally works starting from the very first day of school. We need to set classroom systems, and begin establishing our community. That is the beginning, and as we ready ourselves for the year, we can talk about the systems we’ll need in place to make deeper learning possible.
Moving through different units of study, Systems Thinking is the glue. We did a unit on mindfulness, and that led us naturally to science! We talked first about behavior and the importance of social emotional learning, and next we talked about the brain. Those connections are real, and understandable.
That is Systems Thinking.
A good question is a great starting point. What are the ways we communicate with other people? How do we get the water we use? Before launching each unit, I make a long list of both essential questions and other questions that might come up. Kids add more, and then we start thinking and looking for answers.
I joined the Systems Thinking pilot program at my school when I was in my second year of teaching. It immediately made sense to me, and gave me a way to organize the learning. I feel lucky because as a new teacher, ready to change the world and coming to work every day with a huge amount of enthusiasm I feel like Systems has kept feeding my passion to stay on the cutting edge professionally.