Today was an example of how the Sudbury Model would look in a Christian environment. Even though I currently teach in a traditional Christian school, today I was able to get a glimpse of what The Living Water School would look like. It was Free Friday, where I try to implement the Sudbury Model as much as possible. Here's a run down of my day:
*3 girls decided to make a solar system and the whole time they understood that God designed it. They presented it to some 1st a...nd 2nd graders and they wondered how they knew so much.
*a few students wanted to sit with me and read The Magicians Nephew together. We read and discussed it. No grading just pure enjoyment.
*A group of kids wanted to sing God's Not Dead by the Newsboys. So they started singing it and we sang along. We then ran to the computer and watched the video. Kids started dancing and praising around the room.
*This morning they asked if we could watch a video about Jesus and his disciples. Everyone wanted to, so we did. Then kids decided to create art projects that told the story.
*Some kids wanted to go to the school library so I let them. Others followed.
*They then decided they wanted to go on the computer. Most worked in pairs, but one child wanted to work alone, so I let him.
*Then back in the classroom some students did a word find on my kindle and started cheering when they found all the words, others were playing the recorder, some decided to read a book to each other.
These were random happenings...the schedule and activities totally developed by the students. They worked alone, in groups as a whole class...whatever they wanted. All within a Christian environment and it was glorious. It is not perfect, but it gave me a glimpse. We've been doing this for a while, ever since I visited Fairhaven School and fell in love with this model. I've been teaching for 20 years...have 3 masters in education and finishing a PhD and feel this is probably one of the most cutting edge, yet effective ways to have kids learn. A 1st grader and a 2nd grader asked me why my students (who are in kindergarten) know so much. A teacher told me, "your kids are such leaders...they like to tell others what to do." They are confident in themselves. Another teacher tells me "Your kindergarteners are really thinkers...they can actually read and comprehend..." I felt good. I am excited. It's hard to trust and believe that this can happen. But it can happen! Trust the child...don't stifle the child. Counting down. September 2015!