Not Your Average School
Love of School
Today I asked my students Millie, Willow, and Sophia where they went to school before coming to Alpha, and whether they liked their current school better. They all went to local public schools before coming here, and the answer was a resounding yes. When I asked what they liked better about Alpha, they instead told me what they didn’t like about where they were before.
“We were always learning the same stuff!” “We had to learn about caves EVERY year!”
“Here there are options, at my old school there were no options!”
“We couldn’t choose our space… here we can move wherever we want”
“It wasn’t as fun as our space right now you were told where to sit, and you had to be in the same place every day”
“I used to not want to leave because I was going to miss my friends, but now I would never go back”
At Alpha, kids get to be their exact selves in body and in mind. They aren’t held back or bored by the redundancies of a standardized classroom, and they aren’t shackled to a desk. Here, kids’ natural love of learning is allowed to flourish.
Levi, age 9, is the newest student in the Level one classroom. In his first week alone, he completed 20 math quizzes on the Wowzers math app, earning a 90% or more on 17 of them. When tallying up the scores that week for our “T-Rex of the Week” award, it was clear that Levi’s output was extraordinary. Guide Megan Alonzo remarked “Levi is the kind of student that this school’s model is built for.”
In a traditional school environment, students like Levi would be bound to the pace of the classroom, whether the material is above or below their level of mastery. At Alpha, Levi will continue to move on to higher and more potent mathematics, always challenged, engaged, and advancing.
“Want my business card?” I laughed when 7 year old Hannah made this offer to me. “Sure, let’s see it,” I replied. To my surprise she pulled out a real card advertising her own custom T-Shirt company complete with e-mail and web address. In my first week as a guide I was amazed to learn that every one of our would-be-elementary Level 1 students has to achieve their “build a business” check in order to graduate to Level 2, and that it is taken very literally.