Our first week together was simply beautiful.
Our younger students played games to engage with and learn about one another and reinforce processes and values.
Others spent the week learning about the science of the brain with fun challenges, setting the tone of how we encourage individuality and honor a growth mindset by respecting everyone’s differences.
They dug into articles about the Tocobaga and took a trip to explore the Temple Mound at Philippe Park.
Our almost all veteran high school cohort jumped right in digging into Rites, Rituals, and Rules by reading about Confucious’ The Analects and had conversations that are working towards building their own rituals/habits for personal growth, understanding how rules/expectations lay the foundation for order and cooperation in society, and creating their own rituals to leave behind for future Indi-ED classes (especially with our first graduating class this year!).
They also started investigating scientific thinking, perspectives of modern psychology, and tied all of that together with beginning their Master Class integrating our first unit’s theme of communication with Niel deGrasse Tyson, learning about objective truths and bias. A visit to Tropicana Field to do some observation journaling and discuss how bias impacts our judgements and actions solidified those big ideas right in our own backyard. They’re not all work and no play though.
Improv ice breakers, pre-assessments, and personal wins were peppered in as well.
And let’s not forget about our veteran *students’ whole school lessons on gratitude, effort, focus, honesty, respect, kindness, and vulnerability. (*The students taught the lessons on these!)
We are sensitive that not everyone is having a joy-filled return. But after all of the uncertainties and stress that last year brought and the unknowns of the year ahead, we owe it to ourselves to sit in the joy of this moment. It was our first full week in class, but we all put in a lot of work to get here.