Building a Culture of Dignity

All human conflict emerges from violations of dignity or perceived violations of dignity.Donna Hicks From Paul Bloomberg's work at AISJ September 2019 We had the great fortune at AISJ of working with Paul Bloomberg from the Core Collaborative this past week. He began his work with us by focusing on building a culture of dignity.…

Learning to be wrong

As I have mentioned in previous posts, supporting students in making their own choices and asking their own questions has been a focus of our curriculum work at the ISP. To that end, we recently reorganized a third grade unit on sound and the scientific process to allow students to explore their own questions and curiosities about sound. Students either asked a question about sound, developed a hypothesis, created a plan, and interpreted their results, or they built an instrument and disc [...]

Equal Opportunity, A case for more personalized learning

If the environment is a bad fit for the individual . . . our performance will always be artificially impaired. If we get a good fit with our environment . . . we will have the opportunity to show what we are truly capable of. This means that if we want equal opportunity for everyone, if we want a society where each of us has the same chance to live up to our full potential, then we must create professional, educational, and social institutions that are responsive to individuality. (Rose, [...]

I used to . . ., But now I . . .

I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.-Socrates In the last couple of years, relevance and curiosity have been key areas of focus within our school goals. We want students to know who they are as learners and how to move forward. We want learning to be relevant to their needs. And, we want the curiosity and interests of students to be a larger part of guiding their learning. As such, we have been seeking ways for students to have a greater voice in communicating wit [...]

Look at Life with Gratitude

I bought this gem last summer from a favorite little shop in Durham, NC when we were home visiting. It is from Vintage Girl Designs if you want to support a lovely artist who mixes visual imagery, especially birds and flowers with inspiring, thought provoking quotes. At the start of 2018, my family and I started a new routine that we have followed with mixed fidelity. Every time we thought of something we were thankful for, we wrote it on a piece of paper and put it in a jar. Tonight, as [...]

What do we mean by sensory issues?

In the last number of years, our Early Childhood Teachers have observed more and more students in their classes with “sensory issues”.  By this we mean kids who are seeking sensory stimuli through movement, putting things in their mouths, requiring support to sit because of lack of core strength, difficulty regulating attention, focus and/or emotions, and many other signs.  We know that kids are smart and the behaviors we see are ways that they give us clues about wh [...]

This I believe . . .

This reporter’'s beliefs are in a state of flux. It would be easier to enumerate the items I do not believe in, than the other way around. And yet in talking to people, in listening to them, I have come to realize that I don’t have a monopoly on the world’s problems. Others have their share, often far bigger than mine. This has helped me to see my own in truer perspective: and in learning how others have faced their problems--this has given me fresh ideas about how to tackle mine. [...]