I love Carrie’s last post, where she described Blitzen’s school as a “controlled not controlling environment.” A couple of commenters (we love commenters) asked about the school, which is probably my cue. I feel Carrie nudging me from 8,000 miles away.
Her school values community — Blitzen works in close partnership with her nine delicious, diverse classmates and with a team of brilliant, diverse teachers.
Her school thinks that learning should be filled with exploration, discovery, collaboration, creativity, passion and joy.
Her teachers have the autonomy to follow their own talents and passions, and that of their students. There is no pre-packaged, one-size-fits-all curriculum. There is no standardized testing.
Her school tries to connect learning to the real world, believing that kids can make a positive impact on society right now. It operates from a place of great privilege, and tries to acknowledge privilege and power while striving for equity and justice.
One commenter asked how Blitzen’s school compares to KIPP, a network of charter schools targeted to families in underserved neighborhoods. My least snarky answer is that Carrie and I, like most higher SES families with an array of educational options, don’t send our kids to schools that organize around constant testing, rewards/punishment, behavioral control and classroom call-and-response. Instead, we typically choose schools where kids can create, invent, make choices, build independence and develop higher level thinking skills. I believe that underserviced kids deserve the same thing Blitzen deserves — schools where the environment is controlled but not controlling.