Yesterday was our first day back, the start of a new term. I’m hoping that the theme of this new term will be more parental involvement.
Last year the students learned the process, intention setting, collaborative play, and reflection. We carved out the space, now it’s time to fill it. Typically we fill our space with offerings from the community, we’ve had a few really successful offerings but not enough to really fill the space. At the end of last term I asked parents to create long term offerings for this first term of 2015.
I requested that they focus on what they will be offering, when they will be available to do make those offerings, and what they require of the students.
I’ve created this offerings form document:
Who ever is making the offering is asked to fill this out and then it is presented to the students. Yesterday we have the parents come in and share their offerings. Even a few students made offerings.
Here are some offerings in action. There is space for students to sign up, make a commitment to the person making the offering.
I feel that this will create a two way path of responsibility. The offerer can now see that students have taken an interest in their offering, making the whole thing a bit more real as opposed to how it was before when community members would simply say they wanted to do something then place a sticky note on the board and wait for someone to come around and nudge them.
It will also make transparent the students agreement to fulfill the requirements of that offering. Requirements can be anything from minimum attendance to out-of-school work assignments to compensation. For instance Tim, who offered Permaculture, made a requirement that each hour he teaches be exchanged for $30 credit (the price of one day of attendance) so his son can come play at the school.
All these offerings have allowed us to really fill out our weekly schedule:
The diagonal hash marks indicate a block of time that is repeating while the horizontal indicate something that’s only for this week. Some blocks only take up half the space because they are only for specific weeks (e.g. permaculture is the 1st Wednesday and 3rd Thursday of each month).
Now it’s time to confirm these times with offerers and work shop some other offerings that have less buy in.