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#21

The children in my mom’s classroom use the potato/tempera paint method to make wrapping paper that they sell for fundraising every year before the holidays. Always totally unique!


#22

What, they make something themselves for fundraising?!?!?!? Have you traveled here in a time machine? If so, I have one simple request that will take but a non-minute.


#23

It is a pretty unique school and community.
My dad made a documentary about it in the early 80s called To Make A Difference (not online)
He made another one a few years ago (August To June) documenting my mom’s last year as a full-time public school teacher, which sometimes airs on public television stations around the country.


#24

Love the trailer, but to be honest it makes me a little sad. Here in South Texas where my wife teaches most of the “good stuff” has disappeared in favor of manic test preparation. There is no longer any art, or music in our elementary. The kids are expected to sit and pretty much do practice testing day in day out. It’s killing the teachers and the students…I’ll step off before I rant…


#25

I hear you. It is bleak. Standardized testing punishes creativity and rewards parroted memorization. Arts and Music are what made school bearable for me. Without them… well I don’t know where I would be. Not here. Probably by the overpass, throwing mud onto your windshield and offering to clean it off for a dollar.
There is still hope, but it takes lots of involvement from parents, educators, and the community. Too many people don’t have the resource of spare time to get involved, and too many people just don’t care. It will not fix itself.
My parent’s latest project was a film / web series which followed a group of students though a year at an open-format urban public school in Boston. Schools like this can exist anywhere, and are not limited to semi-rural middle/upper-class communities.

The web series is called A Year At Mission Hill. It is split into 10 parts and available to watch for free online.
The film is called Good Morning Mission Hill, and is available on DVD (cover art illustrations by yours truly :wink:) or occasionally broadcast on Public Television.


#26

Try to get your Board Members to present the Legislature with the history of John Stuart Mill.

Poor guy’s father had him in a zero art/emotion homeschool situation for his whole youth. Seriously messed him up. But sounds like EXACTLY what legislation is driving to turn our school into.


#27

I will have to watch the series and keep an eye on PBS. I’ve always tried to volunteer with my wife’s class. Up till this year I always went in once a week and taught Go to the kids (3rd grade). There’s some research coming out of Japan that suggests it works a the brain in a very similar way to learning music. The principal decided they could get better test scores if they specialized so she’s teaching 4 different groups science and social studies and has no time for anything else :frowning:

I’m friends with several of the board members. Sad thing is they are part of the problem. They aren’t there because of their educational knowledge or vision, simply a popularity vote. No one here would dream of bucking the system.


#28

This made me think of the Reggio Emilia inspired preschool classroom I used to work in. We didn’t have some of the problems that come in when you get to K-12 level. Then again, we also didn’t have the professional recognition that those “real” teachers had. We’d go a little in their direction, but I had trouble detecting any mutual give in our direction.


#29

Wow! That was fantastic! I admire good public school teachers.


#30

When I worked for Head Start, they incorporated a lot of Reggio concepts (I hope that this is still true, I know that HS has taken some massive hits in recent years). I loved the approach, and it was so empowering for the kids!

As a side benefit, our classrooms were so beautiful and I loved watching them unfold throughout the year! “Emergent curriculum” is a big focus in Reggio, so lesson plans are based around student interests. So we’d start the school year with a simple/traditional classroom, and as the year progressed the kids would decorate it with themes that interested them. One year the room transformed into a giant jungle (with a huge tree and trailing vines everywhere) and another year it became a sort of village with buildings and winding roads.

Anyway, I’m rambling. I miss working with little people, and I loved teaching in a way that encouraged independent thinking and creative problem solving.


#31

The 75 LPI looks to be the beginnings of some moire patterns!