Welcome to our blog

This is the story of two educators on one journey. Each day we will record our reflections on the process of being involved in an innovative educational environment. The decision on our part to leave the public education system was deliberate due to our growing frustrations over the factory "one size fits all" model of education. This model has dominated the educational landscape and is not designed to meet the needs of the 21st century learner. Step one in our journey was to find a place that would allow us the freedom to break out of the system. We needed a chance to just breath and facilitate learning in the ways that we both know are best for children. That step has led us to Rosemary Beach Florida to work with the students attending the OH Institute. The OH Institute is a unique educational environment that we find humane. The curriculum focus is on the individual learner with an infusion of technology project based learning. Currently, it has 20 students in grades 4-11 all of whom are seeking something different than what the factory system of education has to offer. This is where our adventure begins...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday October 22

Friday October 22


Today was a new day of learning about OH and my continually evolving role. It started with a parent fundraising meeting at Amavidas which rolled into my talking to Tim about a trip he took to Alabama. He thinks that he has identified a district to partner with us to form a 5-8 pod and a 9-12 pod for next year. What hit me after speaking to Tim about his trip was why I was not asked to go along on the trip. If the purpose was to build a partnership and my role is the person putting things together including trainings etc. it would have been helpful to be in the meetings to hear what was discussed. I think this is another area for Tim and I to really work on in terms of roles. My perception is that he has the vision but is not mired in the day to day as much as Randy and I. When the rubber hits the road in terms of training etc the daily things are going to be the dilemmas.

Knowing how schools, teachers and districts approach their work is something that I am extremely familiar with and comfortable with. I feel like I know a lot about how to help a teacher make the jump from thinking about things in one way to seeing the same educational landscape in another way. Anyhow, I am comfortable enough with talking to Tim that I will talk to him about it next time we have some time to sit a talk.

Basically the questions in my mind are: Was the purpose/focus of your trip to meet and start to build a potential partnership? If the answer is yes then did you ever think to include me? If you did not think to include me I would like to talk through why. From where I am sitting I feel that it is essential for both of us to be at meetings like these and talk about what our roles would look like. If I was there I would see my role as more of a listener, a note taker and then the person for Tim to process with after the meeting. Things that are critical to process after meetings like these are things like capturing what he heard them say, what the district's/school's needs are and what our next steps need to be.

Anyhow, I am glad that I feel like the communication with Tim is open at this point because these will be good areas for us to address as we continue working together this year.

Yay! It is Friday and I am heading home!

Randy -

Today was a normal Friday, if there is such a thing. One neat thing was that one of the virtual school teachers was actually in Rosemary Beach and got to meet some of her students. The kids were of course very excited about seeing her. Also, a parent provided pizza for all of the kids today for lunch and they had a great time. There is a certain level of bonding that happens over food and it is fun to see them sit, eat and talk together.

MS definitely prefers FLVS over projects as the planning is more straightforward, they have a definite pace and get the "feel" that they are learning about something, even if it is the sort of stuff they will just forget. I think a more traditional plan like the high school may be the right fit for them and the expectations of their parents. This is something we will have to work out for next week.

I spent a good deal of time helping some students with chemistry which was tough as I'm not used to that material as it has been a long time. Also, the science has changed since my HS days of chemistry so I have to study before meeting them. The whole idea of having a teacher with virtual school doesn't work so well for them as they don't want to call them if they can get help from a "right now" person. I admit I feel the same sense as a "right now" person would have been very helpful. There are right now paid sites that are available, and it might be a good idea for HS students to join these.

No comments:

Post a Comment