The Waterloo Blog

Designing a School for Growth

By Craig Doerksen / September 29, 2022

What’s the purpose of school? What words do teenagers often use to describe learning at school? Stressful Boring Artificial Unhealthy Anxiety-filled Pointless Disengaging Impersonal Ineffective Busy-work For many students, the school experience checks way too many of those boxes.  Ever wonder why that is? Is it just inevitable? The rise of achievement-oriented education We think…

Read More

Halftime in the Learning Locker Room

By Craig Doerksen / February 22, 2022

Why do so many sports have a halftime — and why don’t we do that more in life? At halftime, teams pause, gather in their locker rooms, catch their breath, reflect on their efforts, listen to coaches, support one another, and refocus before heading back into the game. In life — and in school —…

Read More

The School We All Want (Big Cheese Update + Showcase VIDEOS!)

By Craig Doerksen / January 11, 2022

I can’t tell you how many times we’ve described Waterloo to a friend, family member, or parent exploring Waterloo and they say, “I wish my high school was like this. Can I be a student here?”. As adults, we realize these crucial years are not best spent cramming a ton of information to take a…

Read More

School like it should be

By Craig Doerksen / December 29, 2021

“I hate you, Mr. Doerksen.” When spoken by a student to a teacher, those words can go in a lot of different directions! Not all the possibilities are as bad as they seem. The student’s squinting eyes and sly grin looking past her classmates down the the table to where I sat suggested her meaning…

Read More

Learning Gets Real: 2021 Fall Student Showcase Highlights (VIDEO)

By Craig Doerksen / November 15, 2021

Raise your hand if you enjoy doing things that have no meaning… Now a show of hands if you enjoy showing off something you are proud of? WATERLOO’S 2021 FALL STUDENT SHOWCASE We just wrapped up our first term of classes with a showcase of student learning. Students in each class presented and showed off…

Read More

PAY ATTENTION! (🐿️!)

By Craig Doerksen / November 1, 2021

Facebook is getting a lot of attention these days…for how they keep our attention. While the social and political implications of what platforms do and don’t do is very important, the story also draws attention to… attention. Attention is a finite resource—we can ‘spend’ it or ‘invest’ it—but we do not get more of it. (ADD and ADHD…

Read More

Learning how to fail

By Craig Doerksen / October 25, 2021

I was in Atlanta recently at an education conference and a colleague who I’d not seen since we had started Waterloo wanted an update on how we were doing. Being an educator he asked an important question, “How do you know what you are doing is working?” So I shared with him one of the…

Read More

Do we need managers or leaders?

By Craig Doerksen / September 21, 2021

The pandemic has disrupted a lot, right? A lot in the workplace, and a lot in schools. And, when things get stirred up, we notice status quo features of life, school, or work we had not seen before. They were always there, but once we see them in the light, we realize—that’s not a feature, that’s a…

Read More

Why we are starting online when we could be in person

By Craig Doerksen / August 10, 2020

And why we are planning in-person experiences even while classes will be online. Note: Waterloo School will begin classes online on August 17th. A Community Learning Time during the hour from 9-10 a.m. will allow students to meet in-person or via Zoom with a teacher and a different group of students each day for a…

Read More

How to be RARE in the time of Coronavirus

By Craig Doerksen / August 7, 2020

I have always appreciated the cool head and heart in a hot room. You know the person: something happens that others react emotionally to in fear and alarm, and the cool, calm, collected person brings confidence, peace, and hope to those around him or her. I appreciate the coolness, because that kind of calm creates…

Read More

Sign up for news and updates from Waterloo

Name(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.