Since August 2015, we have invested in teaching our students the seven learner qualities: I Wonder, I Think, I am Self Aware, I Reflect, I Question, I Have Grit, and I Connect. Each teacher’s goal is to have students in the pit, a place where they struggle with and/or question new concepts. In turn, we ask our students to use learner qualities to find their way out of the pit.  It is our hope that students will embrace the learner qualities as tools to assist them in their learning, both in and out of the classroom.  As our students grow and develop as individual learners, we want to ensure they see the group that they comprise.

We Are Metcalf, our theme for the 2017-2018 school year, was derived from our desire not only to be a community of learners but to share it with others. At the entrance to Metcalf, we have a piece of artwork that represents each of our students and staff individually and holistically. Our learner qualities are purposefully displayed throughout our building as visual reminders to our students and staff. Illinois State faculty and teacher education majors see the learner qualities through classroom instruction and interactions with our students. Visitors worldwide walk our halls and see a multitude of examples of our learner qualities in action.  Once a month our entire school participates in a We Are Metcalf activity designed to show our unified spirit.

The mission of Thomas Metcalf Laboratory School is not only educating our students, but also providing guidance and instruction to future teachers. It is our hope that encouraging our students to be invested in their own learning is not only making an impact on them, but also that of future students.  For these reasons, we promote and celebrate our community of learners by walking daily in our theme We Are Metcalf.