During lice checks Thursday morning one of the teachers noticed a large praying mantis resting on the edge of the trash can. She pointed it out to a few of her students and they eventually scooped it into an observation container for the day. Later when I stopped by the K-1, the praying mantis was still getting plenty of attention. It would not surprise me if a mini-study about insects pops up in the coming days. It’s how the emergent curriculum works.
Curriculum has been on all our minds this week as each teacher has spent an evening meeting with parents. The conversations were meaningful and informative, from the feedback we’ve received. I particularly enjoyed several conversations with parents as they were heading home on Wednesday evening. Both returning and new families commented on how intentional the staff is with the curriculum and communications. I’m glad this is noticed and appreciated. As is often the case, a podcast I’ve listened to this week perfectly coincides with life at the Seed. And not surprisingly, it’s from Seth Godin (http://fourhourworkweek.com/2016/08/03/seth-godin-on-how-to-think-small-to-go-big/).
I appreciate his ideas about education. In the podcast, Seth explains his thoughts about kids and learning. Here are a few of his most significant points:
• it’s important to embrace the idea of free range kids
• the lessons we remember are the lessons we learned the hard way
• it’s beneficial to encourage kids to find things that don’t work, to experiment with things that they’re not good at, to explore yet another thing that didn’t turn out right
• the process of learning through exploration is too often missing
Seth also introduces the idea of enrollment in a new context: “It’s not what happens when you sign up with the nearby school…Enrollment is what we call it when someone is eagerly present. Enrollment is something we want to do, we’re not there to get a piece of paper, you’re there because you want to level up.”
When I heard the phrase “eagerly present,” the Seed came to mind. It made me think of the children showing up each day with great enthusiasm for new learning adventures awaiting them. I also thought of the teachers with eyes wide open, like the one who spotted the praying mantis, who are ever present to the possibilities for expanded learning. After talking with parents during our first few days of this new school year, I would have to include them in the eagerly present category as well. In fact, it’s really what the Seed is about. The Seed mission statement states that “Awakening Seed is an innovative, compassionate learning community that inspires global citizens by fostering curiosity, celebrating uniqueness, and promoting social justice.” We are a community of students, teachers and parents eagerly present to ways we can make Planet Earth a better place for all.