The school year has just ended here in the United States. The No. 2 pencils have been put away and the teachers have finished filling out report cards. All the standardized tests have been taken, and children and entire schools have either passed or failed. Things have been learned. Or not. Children have be taught to love learning. Or not. Regardless of what happened this year, a school year has passed and we can’t get it back.
I came across this video of a 3rd and 4th grade class at a public school that focuses on educating the whole child. I was dazzled by what I saw. Laughter. Cooperation. Learning. Excitement. Joy. Engaged and active students. A colorful, spirit-filled classroom. Lots of time outdoors. Music. PLAY. A school garden — complete with chickens! CHICKENS!
Messy — gloriously messy. Electric. These children were engaged in their own education — active participants. They made choices and decisions. They worked together and independently. They were present and valued.
My hat is off to the teachers, administrators, and parents involved in this exploration and celebration of hands-on learning — a school dedicated to educating the whole child and not merely teaching to a test. I only wish that more children had the opportunity to learn in such a rich, supportive — and yes, even messy — environment. After all, childhood was meant to be messy. Haven’t you heard?
See ya outside! – The Grass Stain Guru