How do Walden Teachers Foster Independence, Grit and Self Sufficiency?

February 6, 2014

(6th Grade Assistant Teacher Marcia Van wrote this to share with parents at the Upper Core Encore on February 5)

Let’s start with Walden Agreement #8:

“I am responsible for my own feelings, my own actions, my own learning, and for using my WISE MIND to help me do my best.”

Every day, Walden School students come into the classroom with natural curiosity.  Walden teachers meet up with them and teach many skills.  Students take what they’ve learned and choose, wisely, what to present in their various projects:

“Who shall I research so I may learn from their lives?”  (The Historical Pumpkin Project)

“I am Inquiring about my world and how will I research to find the answers?”  (The Inquiry Project)

“How will I become familiar with another state of the U.S. and then share my knowledge with others, so we all may know the vastness of our homeland?”  (The State Fair)

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That’s within the classroom, but then, out of the classroom:

Field TRIPS- extended field trips!
-students out of their comfort zones
-taking risks, likely for the very first time
-being responsible for their OWN gear
-far from home

3 days at Astro Camp – ropes course, free fall

5 days at CIMI- snorkeling in the Pacific Ocean and seeing what’s there

6 days at Teton Science School- heavy snow, cold temperatures (we woke up to 48 degrees today, but last week it was 11!), skiing, wild moose, and wolves

Did I say GRIT? You bet. Our students, your wonderful children, show courage, pluck and endurance.

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