When I Reflect on the Year

2015 was an interesting year for me in many ways. As I flipped my daily calendar today, not only did I recognize that school is ending and summer is beginning, but I also realized I have been a part of the VLK team for over a year now. It has been an amazing sixteen months! I value reflection as a powerful learning tool, and the words seemed to almost overwhelm me today with memories of fantastic experiences and dynamic clients with exciting projects both in design and under construction today. There are some things I no longer ponder, but now KNOW after my short career in educational architecture so far.

Our designs will positively impact the newest generation of learners as we are committed to understanding how students learn today, as well as being comfortable designing for a future that we cannot yet visualize. Our comprehensive planning process involves students, as well as business professionals in order to design purposeful learning environments that have meaningful spaces for students. We are abreast of the revisions to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, as well as the extensive level of professional development being provided to teachers in order to fully utilize inquiry-based instructional methodologies that support complex standards.

Our designs work to emulate that of industry, knowing that business leaders inform us that the soft skills that students acquire in school are critical to their success as future employees. Our student-centered spaces are designed so that students want to engage in the learning process, and where teachers can serve as facilitators in the educational process without overpowering the learning environment. Spaces that are flexible, transparent, and offer opportunities for group problem solving and collaboration are now critical to the learning process, and we design those!

Experience is sometimes the best teacher, and today I am thankful for my colleagues at VLK Architects. I joined a team of brilliant minds that never tire of finding the desired solution for our clients. We care, and take pride in our work. I am also thankful for clients who allow us to design with them in order to create spaces for students that are meaningful and purposeful. I've been told that looking forward to Monday morning means you accepted a calling regarding your career. As a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and associate superintendent, I always looked forward to Monday morning. Today, I still look forward to Monday morning!