Monday, June 29, 2009

Our Community Of Teachers

A friend who is helping me think through the outline for a book I may or may not write, recently asked me, "What moves you, inspires you?"

My knee-jerk response is, "Teaching young children, of course," but as I've thought about her admonishment, I occurs to me that my passion extends to our entire Woodland Park community. Our cooperative school is more than just a collection of kids. We're a community of children, yes, but also of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, alumni, and neighbors. It's one of the great strengths of the coop model that we all daily benefit from this amazing pool of talents and temperaments.

In the bigger world, we're so much more than our role in child care: we're homemakers and executives, contractors and artists, musicians and scientists, retailers and writers, senior citizens and twenty-somethings. Were we a traditional school, we would largely depend upon our adults to fill the cookie-cutter roles of chauffeurs and chaperones. As a coop in which our adults serve as assistant teachers, this wide world of skills and experiences arrive in the classroom every day, ready to be of service to the education of both the children and their families alike.

I'm so happy that our kids aren't stuck with the pedagogical views of a single teacher. It's this panorama of perspectives that makes cooperative education so powerful.

I'm thinking specifically today about the perspectives of a pair of fellow bloggers from our Woodland Park community.

Our friend Maya has just posted a new entry 5 Random Summer Things That I Like on her terrific blog The Familiar Home. It's a fun, breezy blog about art, crafts, decorating, family and food, with lots of photos. I'm definitely going to try out her sauteed spinach dish.

Floor Pie (which I've written about before) is a thoughtful, very well-written collection of essays on a wide range of topics from our new friend Toby. Her most recent piece, There's Something About Bella, is one of the most thought-provoking book reviews I've read in a long time.

Give them a read. Isn't it exciting to think that these are just a couple of the people who teach your kids?

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