Well, I’ve been really enjoying school lately. With the working groups and @Tomis keeping their eyes on admin tasks, I’ve been purely focusing on connection with the kids. It’s been amazing.
Here’s what I’ve discovered about our community this week:
1) Kids take charge!
Our school is becoming less run by adults and more run by the kids. They are ready for, and excited to, lead our meetings. We have had a volunteer lead meetings almost every day. I can feel the shift from our “getting settled” phase from early fall to getting in our groove now. The adults can back off and let the kids lead, and as they lead, they will more powerfully co-create a space with us that works for our community.
2) Small schools can still have big school events.
You don’t need a big school to have an amazing SCHOOL DANCE! The kids took this dance very seriously and we had an amazing time. Three of the girls made all the decorations and asked for the support they needed from different facilitators to make the dance happen. First they asked 3 different adults from the church to use the big cafeteria space. They needed Dan to bring his equipment and help set up, they secured a DJ, and and even got snacks. I wasn’t thrilled about the way snacks were obtained (way to expensive and with a facilitator footing the bill at the promise of the children to pay it back), but even that is a learning experience for everyone involved. There are kids in our space who love to plan events, and we have kids in our space who really enjoy being a part of the events they plan. That’s community!
Kids asked each other to dance, and many had their first slow dance ever with their friends, as you can see above. We also had karaoke! I danced until I was dripping with sweat. It was awesome.
The boys are incredible DJ’s! Liberty asked the boys to DJ the school dance, I think they felt honored to be asked, and took the responsibility seriously, including a sign up sheet for song requests.
3) The kids value the people in our community over the material resources we have.
Here are pictures of a hydroponics garden and worm casting set ups at the Davidson Green School, which we visited this week.
The school is beautiful – a picturesque house purchased by the founder and her partner, then remodeled to fit the school’s needs. They have woods, an incredible playground – with a zipline, and the house is just really outfitted well. Walking in, I thought, “Oh man, the kids will never want to leave!”
We were so welcomed and felt at ease with the flow – starting with a circle and check-in, and then free to do whatever we wanted to do in the house.
The school was mostly for younger elementary students, but we still had fun. We chose from Montessori styled options like metal insets and playing in the practical life room. We played with the marble run, on the slack line, and one the zip-line after lunch during the recess time. We helped wrap trees to make sure they were protected from cankerworms. We also got to see a school play!
I really appreciate how welcoming DGS was to us, and I felt very at home and comfortable there. Once we got in the car, though, the girls kept expressing how much they loved Mosaic. In the car they played a game about “what is the one thing they would keep if they had to get rid of everything” and our community was always picked. It’s clear that the kids feel like we are a family and that’s what matters.
Despite the additional resources DGS has, the kids were so thankful and grateful to come back to our school, and I’m thrilled to help them brainstorm ways to continue to make our space better and better for all of us. I am thankful that DGS gave us an opportunity to see what is possible for us to create in a space we hopefully own one day!
4) Stick/Weapon Play is everywhere.
Yeah, they had that there too! I am perplexed how every single stick-like object in our school becomes a sword.
5) I need to do more art projects in the school!
I draw, they draw. I paint, they paint. Sometimes just offering something isn’t enough at set the week. The kids don’t always know if they want to sign up. If I want to draw or paint one day a week, I can just do it. They watch, and most of the time, they want to do it too. They just need a little inspiration, or to simply see a person passionate about what they are doing to model after 🙂
Well, that’s pretty much this week in review through my discoveries! I’m excited to start next week – our last week of school before the holiday break!