After a day of touring around New York, we are ready for the ‘real’ work. Visiting schools. On the evening before departure, I check the website of this school again. A nice quote from the site that stays with me: ‘We believe that children are creators of meaning in their own lives’. With these wise words I go to sleep.
After a ride on the subway (which is quite complicated with 25 people) we arrive at Brooklyn New School, a public school in the Brooklyn district. The school buses are already in front of the school.
What is immediately noticeable upon entering is the involvement of the security guard. While we register for the school visit, she cuddles with many children and welcomes the children (and parents) with a big smile. What a great start to the day for these children.
After a short word of welcome, we are shown around by two students from the 5th grade. During the conversation it turns out that they actually want to return to their own class as soon as possible. They are working on the interesting theme about WWII. From a story with the I-figure as the main role, they come to a complete book in which they describe everything they would have experienced in the time of WOII. The boy who shows us around is willing to provide us with information about the school, but cannot wait to return to his own group to work on his project. How passionate can you be.
As we walk through the school, we see a very high level of engagement with students. The students often work together and depend on each other’s input and coöperaties. The teachers observe, ask in-depth questions and invite the children to reflect. There is a serene calm in the school.
In the afternoon we had some time to talk to the administrator of the school. She told us all about ICM (integrated co-teaching model) and PBA (preferred based assesment).
Nice to hear that a school is walking its own path and is no longer taking ‘mandatory’ tests.
But especially nice to feel that the vision is congruent throughout the entire school. Preach like you teach, teach like you preach.Recommended1 recommendationPublished in