I am so in love with being at school that sometimes I forget that I used to hate it. Going to a classroom and learning every day used to be my nightmare. At this point in my life, I cannot fathom why. The fact that I get to discuss ideas and learn new information every single day is incredible to me, and I am so grateful for it. Not being in school last semester definitely made me see how much I love learning in a classroom, alongside my peers. As an aspiring educator, I’m always on the lookout for new trends in education. After talking to quite a few people that have taken a similar career path to what I wish to take, they’ve introduced me to a variety of school styles. To make it a little bit more concise (both for my reference and for yours), I thought I would sum them up here.
Montessori Schools: Students learn the subject on their own, figuring out the problem using the materials given and learning along the way. Most often found in primary/elementary school formats.
I’ve heard amazing things about Montessori schools and the teachers who work there. Because the students are learning on their own, the teachers are more able to work one-on-one with students to solve the problem. A woman I met this past fall worked at the Hershey Montessori School in Ohio. The school has an on-site farm which the students work on! Talk about my kind of education!
Waldorf Schools: A large part of Waldorf teachings is “developing the whole student”, and ensuring that the student is not only learning the curriculum but also learning accomplishing tasks hands-on and collaborating with others.
Waldorf schools are something that really intrigue me. I have yet to meet a person who has worked or works at one, but I’ve only heard good things! The mentality behind its creation is very interesting. They seem to combine a Montessori education with a public school education, focusing both on the curriculum and developing good social standing. Both Halton and Guelph have a Waldorf school – definitely something I’ll have to keep on my radar!
Outdoor Schools: Primary focus on outdoor activities. Many classroom activities are outside, and an emphasis on experiential learning is given.
I read an article the other that a new outdoor school will be opening up in Halifax, NB. At the end of the article, there’s mention of the first outdoor school in Atlantic Canada, which just opened its doors in September 2013. Just over a year ago! In Guelph, ON, there’s an outdoor school for kids 4-14 years of age. It’s only been open since 2012. These are incredible facilities that are breaking into the educational field, and I would love to be a part of them one day! (And, of course, you all know about my love affair with the Bronte Creek Project.)
No matter what type of school my kids will go to, I just hope that they’re having fun. That’s something that I really struggled with growing up: if it wasn’t fun, or it wasn’t totally captivating, then I wasn’t interested at all and I wouldn’t do the work. I often fell behind (and still do when I come across this situation) and had an Individual Education Plan (IEP) developed to help combat this. Of course, I was only 8 at the time and had no idea what an IEP was or how it was supposed to help me. Unfortunately, it seems that neither did my teachers. I was always bored in class, and as a result got terrible grades. I only hope that education is a little more progressive now, and kids are reaching their full potential. I can say for sure that it would have saved me a lot of struggle!
Emma — The Suburban Aggie