Intentional Instruction Begins… Before Students Even Arrive

While Wildwood students enjoy their last few days of summer break, teachers here are deeply engaged in their practice. During a week of opening meetings, one day was devoted to envisioning the Wildwood School graduate of the future. How would we prepare this person for her life?

By convening groups of mixed grade levels and disciplines to discuss and define the qualities of the ideal Wildwood graduate, we enjoyed a broad perspective in our morning meetings. After lunch, we met in subject-area groups, with a specific task: Communicate a vision of a future Wildwood graduate’s qualities and accomplishments.

The Butterfly

Humanities teachers describe the ideal graduate

Drawing on sound progressive educational practice, each small group choose a variety of ways to communicate their vision, including images, writing, and performance.

Butterfly details

The ideal graduate, through humanities teachers’ perspectives

Wildwood’s visual arts teachers discussed how they wanted to surprise their peers by presenting their ideas in a performance art piece. “They’ll all be expecting us to do something visual,” says upper school art teacher, Laura Forsythe, “but they won’t be expecting that.”

The ideal- Spanish

The ideas graduate from Spanish teachers’ perspectives

The kindergarten through 12th grade math teachers brought down the house with a hip hop vision of the ideal Wildwood graduate through their subject-area lens (check out these talented teachers in the video link below).

The Heart

The ‘heart’ of the Wildwood graduate through teachers’ eyes

Humanities and Spanish teachers depicted the ideal graduate through representational figures—both human and animal—symbolizing their most important qualities through images and words.

At Wildwood, we practice what we preach, so our teachers’ work this (and every) day reflects what our graduates will need as they take their experiences into the world— a clear sense of purpose, strong content-area knowledge, and the ability to work together to find novel solutions to authentic problems.

~ By Steve Barrett, Director of Outreach, Teaching, and Learning


  1. monique marshall said

    Awesome awesome awesome! Thank you Steve for capturing the unique Wildwood spirit that lives in our faculty K-12!

  2. This is priceless!! Very impressive.

  3. I so enjoyed watching the teachers ‘rap’ with enthusiasm and passing
    that on to all the Wildwood students. Great job!

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