by Dr. Jill Sarada
Director, Falk Laboratory School
Throughout our lifetimes, we enter and exit many different communities. We try communities to see if they fit who we are, who we want to be, and what we believe, like a club or a new group of friends. At the heart of it all is our search for belonging. We belong when we are accepted, when our well-being matters to others, and when theirs matters to us. And we belong when we are challenged to grow, to stretch ourselves.
Falk Laboratory School is a community that comes together because of our shared beliefs about learning. Falk is also part of a community—several communities, in fact. As a laboratory school, we’re one of many institutions that conduct and facilitate research that deepens our teaching practice, with the ultimate goal of sharing these insights widely. We are also part of the community of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education. As a demonstration school, Falk holds an important role in the educational community, serving as a vital site of connection where master teachers work with new and emerging student teachers to shape, reflect upon, and refine their teaching practices.
At Falk, we know that we belong when we can contribute, when we bring something to the group that helps it succeed in reaching our common goals. We belong when we have purpose, when the work we do together helps others and helps the world.