I am incredibly fortunate and extremely honored to spend my days with a group of young people who are engaged, motivated, and intelligent; who embrace empathetic and compassionate respect for others. Which is why, I am often left speechless at the blatant hypocrisy of our society. Our culture is rooted in Pavlovian-like training with sticks and carrots, external control, consumerism, as well as competition, but, yet, we judge (degrade) youth for laziness, doing the minimum required, short attention spans, lack of motivation, and, above all, their inconsiderate and disrespectful behavior.
It is, however, as with most things, so much easier to indict rather than recognize (look squarely into the mirror of societal pressures), or, even try to understand the underlying causes of anxiety, as well as unproductive and detrimental behaviors.
In the traditional school setting, children quickly learn that someone (something) else is in control of their education (and lives). They are made aware that knowledge is finite (everything you need to know is taught to you in formal classes). They understand that doing the bare minimum will get them the gold star and pat on the head, and, that the test at the end is what proves whether you are smart, or, not.
In contrast, a non-coercive, non-compulsory, self-directed learning environment encourages and supports independent thought. Students are invited to explore a world of knowledge that is endless. They promptly comprehend that investigation, experimentation, playing, and making messes, as well as mistakes lead to a profound understanding of any subject or theme.
This philosophy (method) is the wave of the future, in fact, it is already here. Most of us have taken a class, seminar, webinar, or researched subjects on-line, which directly relates to our particular interests or needs. Any of the information we desire or require is, quite literally, at the end of our fingertips. We all internalize important details when we are interested in the subject, and, when we are in charge of acquiring it.
Kids are no different; they will contentedly work hard on a task that means something to them. Quite simply, kids are not lackadaisical, unmotivated, or ungracious, when they are provided the opportunity to participate in an educational environment that is emotionally safe, respectful, positive, energetic, and completely supportive. They will learn math skills, when they can apply them to real life. They will relate historical incidents and data to current events, when they are engaged in conversation that matters to them. They will be open to new ideas, because they understand their opinions will be heard, too. They will write stories, essays, and poems, produce business plans, create art and science projects, and play music, because they are free to do so.
In this new world, where knowledge and information are accessible to anyone, we should be embracing a system, which fosters independence, sharing, questioning skills, and truth seeking; where kind and compassionate thinkers and leaders are born, encouraged, and championed.
B 99.3 Community Connections Interview
Listen to B 99.3 Tuesday morning at 8:45 to hear three of us discuss DRC with Community Connections host Jody Tosti.
Feel the Heat – Thursday, Feb. 16th
Reservations are starting to roll in- please don’t miss this tasty and fun opportunity to support Deep Root Center. Ticket sales go through February 9th.
BBQ Sauce Fundraiser
We have 5oz bottles of Richard’s Vermont made BBQ Sauce for sale for $5.00 each. Contact Maria if you would like to purchase a bottle or two. Yummy recipes are included.
New class schedule
Here are a few of the classes we have included in our schedule, which as always, reflect the current interests of our students. This ten weeks we are excited to continue DRC Band practice and music class. We also have a SLU crew coming in to lead outdoor adventures. Our photojournalism class have been taking photos to compile into individual photo essays based on a particular theme that emerges as they continue to take pictures. In one class, we will be investigating and discussing a plan, originated by one of our students, to refurbish the Buck Street playground. During art, we will be creating mosaics using broken glass and ceramics.