This school will be many things- above all else, a grand adventure! Which brings me to my first mission: to weave together a supportive, motivated group of families so that we can come to lean on one another during this big chapter of our lives as parents.
I will provide an affordable, high quality educational experience- though perhaps not with all of the usual buzzes and seals of approval that typically go along with the connotations of ‘education’. I am a firm believer that, in order for deep learning to materialize naturally, the environment must serve as a host of situational opportunities for meaty problem solving- a dynamic that requires effortful engineering. I understand, through my years of teaching experience, the delicate balance of knowing when to stand back and when to tailor a situation by prodding further with good questions- the learning follows from all that.
Learning isn’t just a slathering on of new ideas on top of old, nor is it a simple engagement with bells and whistles that promise a learning experience. Learning is a craft of examining current understandings and reflecting on the changes in those understandings. I’m looking forward to illuminating each individual’s journey through documenting those changes in epistemological understanding through photos and written description. Although I’m currently finding a lot of inspiration through my research in the Reggio method, I have decided not to adhere to any particular method in principle; my plan is to stay on my toes with my eyes peeled- and to do whatever works. I’m going to implement a student-led, emergent curriculum- that is, from careful attention paid to the children’s interests, and by gauging their skills that are ripe for development, various projects and themes will arise organically from that.
Of course, this work will go on behind the scenes. For the child, the point in all of this is to have fun. Let the testing and the drills and the hand-wringing start in Kindergarten. Let’s enable our children to enjoy a cool place to play and imagine; create a space where they are taken seriously, and feel safe, loved, and understood; and feel empowered to make their mark on the world. If you feel very strongly about your child receiving a specific type of experience, or if you have a specific set of learning goals in mind, or want your child to play in the dirt as long as she doesn’t get dirty, or hunt for snails in the rain as long as he doesn’t get wet, this isn’t the school for you. I am seeking a friendly, flexible team of parents who share a commitment in supporting this vision, and who all dearly want me- and our entire team- to succeed. I hope you’re as excited about this endeavor as I am.