✹ create integrated studies ✹ collaborate with others ✹ learn how to learn everywhere
If you are a self-motivated learner interested in designing and implementing a thematic study, please feel free to contact us. Master teacher Teague Skye will be offering mentoring for individuals and small groups who wish to pursue integrated studies. Themes are chosen which stem from student interests or concerns, allowing a broad and deep investigation of pertinent material through the lenses of myriad specific disciplines. Work-study and sliding scale rates available.
Learning for real: Sundial Project
Once I started to become more educated about gifted services in public education, I sought out ways in which I could share the information and possibilities with my fellow educators. The usual gifted services programs are just that, programmed. They are not organic structures, growing out of genuine needs, watered with real possibilities for exploration. For real changes in learning to happen within a system which all too often forfeited possibilities in favour of tradition, this required that I go find individual teachers who may be open to doing things a little differently and pique their interest. I would ask them if I could visit them in their classroom and make an appointment if they said yes. I’d ask them what they were teaching, what students were learning; I’d look at some student work, ask what was most frustrating. Lots of questions. But not enough to make them defensive. It was a perilous balance.
One of the teachers who decided to give it a whirl was an upper level mathematics teacher with a reputation as a serious hard ass. Not sure I ever saw the woman smile. She came to me one morning in the library before the first bell rang.
“I have eight youngins in my trig class who already understand what we’re studying and another 30 who are completely lost,” she came right to the point.
“Okay” I said, shrugging and looking her in the eye. Eight math geeks I thought; no problemo.
I smiled inside; trigonometry no less. Something else I was completely clueless about but was supposed to teach. But that wasn’t a problem, given what the students at the academy had taught me. I knew that a teacher didn’t need specific information to teach; I simply needed to be willing to learn enough to guide them through designing and implementing a project that would allow them to cement their learning through a creative effort together. Teachers don’t need to know anything other than how to learn. That’s what we really impart when we really teach. For me, teaching is about blindly leading the sighted into places that demand they close their eyes and reach for each other’s hands, move toward a deeper understanding within themselves, in the context of their own life.