15 Oct Learning By Connecting
“It can be ugly and messy work but it gives our students an advantage in the world outside of Steamboat Mountain School,” Erin Davis, Academic Dean told members of faculty in preparation for the 2019-2020 school year. The hard work mentioned by Mrs. Davis is teaching through connections. A connection to the environment, to the classroom, to peers, and teachers, gives the students a vehicle to learn through. We are looking beyond the traditional classroom where students are taught. Our teachers are encouraged to look at their classrooms like mini-ecosystems. “Recognize each students role and value in the system, lift them up and make them invaluable to the learning that is happening.” A Steamboat Mountain School teacher is a crusader for every student’s potential and strives to foster their innate desire to learn. Our small school is filled with teachers that individuate their lessons when possible which provides multimodal instruction ensuring the delivery of the lesson to each student.
What happens when students feel valued in the learning process? They start to see their own connections. A high school education becomes interdisciplinary where students are lifted up for cross-pollinating their classes. We facilitate an understanding that while you might be in math class you’re learning something that may help you succeed in english or history. Similarly, you may be in history class and you might learn something that helps you in art. Recognizing the similarities and the overlap of disciplines gives students permission to be creative in their problem solving and agency over the topics, questions, and projects in the classroom. A student who learns to connect the dots in the classroom becomes a critical thinker who is prepared to adapt and think for themselves beyond the classroom. Boundless is not our motto without cause. We truly believe that a boundless education starts with a sense of place where we trust in each other and are valued.