There is something really gratifying in running down a flying disk to score a point for your team. Just ask any of our middle school students who enjoy playing Ultimate during our lunch breaks. Ultimate is a fast paced game that is a hybrid cross of football, Frisbee and handball. One of the really cool aspects of the game is that it is self-refereed. The game is played for fun and with honour.
Isn’t it strange that in so many other sports we rely on officials to call the game and make sure that players follow the rules? It also strikes me as odd that in many cases when we add in officials, players look for ways to “get away” with breaking the rules.
Lock or Latch
Back in the 1990s, I was on staff when Surrey Christian School built their middle school. In 2004, I was on staff when the middle school was constructed here at ACS.
Now, we are beginning to renovate and build again.
Each project has been unique and driven by a vision for what Christian education could be. A vision for what Christian education should be.
I remember some specific aspects of each project that became small examples of the ideals and hopes that were held. For example, when Surrey Christian was building their new middle school, one of the foundational principles under lying the construction process was to design a campus that lent itself to fostering a community of trust and belonging.
The design of student lockers was one relatively small example. If we were to be a community of trust, then there should not be locks on lockers. Instead, we installed latches on the lockers so they would stay closed. Locks were not allowed.
It was a principled decision. We wanted our students to understand, in a very real way, that in this Christian school we had to be able to trust each other.
The lens of trust
In the same way, when we were building the middle campus here at ACS in 2004, it was proposed that we install cameras in certain areas of the building. We chose not to because we felt that cameras indicated a lack of trust; cameras made it feel like students had to behave, not because they knew it was right, but because they didn’t want to get caught doing wrong.
Now we are fine tuning our plans for the renovation and new building and the questions about lockers and cameras are coming up again.
As I think about this, the game of Ultimate goes on and it is obvious the kids are playing for all the right reasons. For this game, they don’t need a ref.