Valparaiso Community Schools

Fearless problem solvers

2013-10-28T00:00:00Z Fearless problem solversErin Utesch Principal Cooks Corners School nwitimes.com
October 28, 2013 12:00 am  • 

It has been noted that our little ones may be dealing with more information every two days than what once took thousands of years to create. 

Others have said that the Information Age is over, and we are now in the Innovation Age. History tells us that many of the devices that we use daily could be obsolete in the next few years. For all of these reasons and more, much discussion has taken place about the needs of our 21st century learners and the many factors that will impact student achievement. Cooks Corners Elementary School is no exception to this ongoing discussion.

Through these discussions, we have come to terms with the fact that we cannot fully predict exactly what our children might be facing when they enter the “real world.” Yet we can predict that, just like today, they will be faced with problems that need to be solved. Therefore, at Cooks Corners, we work together every day to produce fearless problem solvers.

Fearless problem solvers identify the problem at hand, immediately begin to develop creative solutions to that problem, and relentlessly work until a satisfactory, effective solution is found. Fearless problem solvers do not respond with, “I haven’t learned that yet,” but with “I know I can figure this out.” They apply this mindset to all areas of their lives.

In an effort to develop fearless problem solvers, we are taking intentional steps to develop flexible, adaptive, divergent thinkers who express their ideas with gentle confidence. Through our inclusive educational model, we are providing opportunities for children to learn in a diverse peer group. With our morning announcements, we are asking children to analyze the advice of experts and apply that advice to their own daily lives. During math instruction, we are teaching through inquiry and encouraging multiple solutions to tasks. Throughout our instructional day, we are asking questions that elicit higher order thinking. Perhaps most importantly, we are purposefully giving kids a chance every day to do hard things, learn that it is OK to struggle, and develop the genuine confidence that comes in being successful with a challenge.

At Cooks Corners Elementary, we are pleased to be a part of a community that is committed to our children. We are excited about the promise that our students possess. And we are honored to play a part in the development of these future leaders and fearless problem solvers.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion.

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About Valparaiso

City of Valparaiso
166 Lincolnway Valparaiso, IN 46383
(219) 462-1161

Police Department
355 S. Washington St. Valparaiso, IN 46383
(219) 462-2135

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2605 Cumberland Drive Valparaiso, IN 46383
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3210 North Campbell Street Valparaiso, IN 46385
(219) 462-5144

Valparaiso Community Schools
3801 N. Campbell St. Valparaiso, IN 46385
(219) 531-3000

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