Curriculum and Staying in Bounds

We get many questions about what curriculum will look like at Northern Lights. As these questions continue to emerge, I have been pondering what families are truly wondering. Or what they’re nervous about. So, here we go with another sports metaphor, because they seem to help even non-sports fans!

All sports have boundaries, whether it’s soccer, tennis, golf, football, basketball, or cricket. Even runners have to cross lines after running a set distance. Boundaries create rules and guidelines for how to compete. A basketball court is 94 x 50 feet. Within those predetermined, unchanging boundaries, there is much space for different approaches to playing the same game. For instance, former Gopher coach, Tubby Smith, is known* for creating a slower-paced version of basketball nicknamed “Tubbyball.” Within the same boundaries as every other team, Tubby’s players were coached with a different strategy, but still found much success making it to the NCAA tournament. Many basketball fans are accustomed to watching fast-paced games, where players are running up and down the court making quick shots. Joining Northern Lights might feel awkward—just like watching Tubbyball could feel awkward—because we’re not used to that pace, or having our questions answered with more questions. But that awkwardness/difference also can be refreshing and creates different conversations about basketball and education as a whole. Perhaps you’re drawn to the difference, like we are. In this example, boundaries represent state standards. State standards, like the boundaries of a basketball court, are predetermined and non-negotiable at Northern Lights or any public school.

Curriculum, in this example, is the different approach in the way teams run plays, like Tubbyball. Northern Lights will still use “give and go” type plays that are time-tested, but will not be limited to them. Within predetermined boundaries, teams build plays around talents, skills, and desired or necessary areas of growth or interest. At Northern Lights, we’ll be adaptable in our curriculum and teaching, but will always stay in bounds.

Parents, get ready to cheer and support!

*Tubby Smith is also known for allowing players to cheat at school-which we do NOT endorse- ha!

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