In Spanish 3, Spanish Teacher Kathleen O’Connor was going over the class syllabus with students. While I was there snapping a few photos, I heard her tell students (in English) that, starting tomorrow, class would be held in Spanish, but that they always could ask “Como se dice …?” if they weren’t sure how to say something.
When I stepped into 3rd period math for a few moments, Math Teacher Arjen Krijgsman was handing out textbooks and explaining to students that, while math would largely be completed via the computer-based program ALEKS, each online course was linked to a traditional textbook, to be used for reference and supplementary materials as needed.
In the Drawn to Nature art class, Art Teacher Nancy Schwartz had students introduce themselves through three photographs they chose from a large selection scattered in a pile on the classroom floor. One was to represent the student in some way, one was to represent how the student felt about art, and the last was to represent why they took the course. After students crawled about on the floor sorting through photos on hands and knees for a few minutes, they tailor-sat in a circle and explained to one another why they had chosen those three particular photos.
I noted that several students chose photos of something small or young — a “baby tiger,” for example, to use one young man’s words. Students explained that these small items or young creatures represented their undeveloped skills in art.
Nancy encouraged students to relax about their current skill level. She assured them that, since they would be practicing nearly every day for many weeks, their skills would grow so quickly that they would be amazed. Students then started on some simple drawings which, Nancy said, would be put away and brought out again at the end of the semester as proof for the students of how much progress they had made.
As usual at Conserve School, visiting classes made for a very uplifting morning!
Mary Anna Thornton
Assistant Head of School
(I believe I have student names down now, so I added captions to the accompanying photos. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if I’ve identified someone incorrectly!)