Our school was built on the belief that providing students with first-hand experiences, and giving them opportunities to experiment with life, is an expression of respect for children as moral and intellectual beings. Middle schoolers are routinely engaging in real work and real life.
On Friday following the inauguration, students created posters with statements of their values and marched to and around Washington Square Park. Students and teachers reported that the most meaningful and memorable aspect of that afternoon was the reactions of the people in the street. It was that audience - some supportive, some curious - that made the students see their action as more than a rehearsal or a simulation, but real.
One of the hallmarks of our progressive program at LREI is the priority we give to tasks that are authentic. In all the ways we can, we ask students to solve real problems, hear from and talk to real people, and to engage themselves in building, saying and doing things for themselves.
In a recent Big Time afternoon, seventh graders made their own tartas de manzanas. Mandarin students made preparations for Lunar New Year.
Sixth graders began their journey in guilds on Tuesday. As apprentices, they are not just learning about their guild, but actually practicing each skill itself - embroidery, masonry, cartography.
Fifth graders were out of the building today at the Brooklyn Museum, where rather than being lead through exhibits, they were the docents. They guided groups of their peers in the ancient Egypt exhibit according to the area of their research.
This morning in the eighth grade, Travis Baille came from NARAL to speak directly to the class about reproductive rights and what inspired him to become an activist.
Meanwhile, students continue to take the lead in their clubs and extracurricular activites. Basketball players in all the grades are practicing and playing, honing their skills on the court and their coordination as a team. Members of the robotics team are getting ready for Sunday’s competition - the first one we are hosting here at LREI. Students met at lunchtime for comic book club, GSA, womens history, banana splits, book club and newspaper.
I encourage you to start a conversation with your child about any one of these many moments at home.