School does not feel the same as it used to. School does not look the same as it used to. The building might, but the classroom does not. School is not the same as it was. We don’t sit in rows; sometimes we don’t even sit at desks. Some kids don’t even have chairs, they have balance balls. Sometimes we don’t use textbooks. We don’t always complete worksheets. What’s the important take away from all of it? It’s fine. What we do better understand is how kids learn. Compliance is not a great teacher to all students. We know that the nineteenth century model will not prepare our students for success in the twenty-first century.
Students need what the state of Vermont refers to as transferable skills. They work in concert with content proficiencies, not exclusive from them. Students need to be responsible citizens in language arts just like they need to be in science. They need to problem solve in math just like they need to problem solve through the political process.
We aim to offer opportunities for students to understand their learning. As examples here are some sample things that happened in the past week at VUES: understanding learning styles, designing of a piece of literature, working with shapes to kinesthetically comprehend math concepts and figures, developing community, experimenting with how to walk on air with balloons, using technology appropriately, and working to understand safety in the community. We have a great community of learners that flexes, adapts and adjusts.
- Matthew DeBlois, Principal