Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A New Charter School?

Susan started her morning burning toast and stepping in cat barf (How did I miss it? I am usually right on those early morning treats.) But she had a good laugh when she ran across this headline. At first, the term "small fire" made her chuckle. But then Boy#1 pointed out "savage school" seemed an apt description for a place where students light things on fire.

Students at the Savage School of Minnesota learn to make fire. SSM's goal of academic excellence is guided by the principles of progressive education. Believing that children learn best as active participants, collaborators, and problem-solvers within a community, SSM students solve real-life problems with real tools. 
As a school administrator, my Susan has recently heard the term "warrior spirit" used by flummoxed mothers to describe their young boys' propensity to play loudly with sticks. These are often peace-loving, coop-shopping, beeswax-burning mothers who are grappling with the fact that despite all their attempts to eradicate the warring instincts of their sweet spawn, suppressing testosterone often becomes a game of whack-a-mole. Forbid the nerf guns and video games and boys will make do with branches and marbles - though not happily in this culture, once they realize what they are missing.

Not long ago Boy#2 had a new friend over and they played video games. Apparently it was the other boy's first time playing a multiplayer, shooter game on a large screen with surround sound. He turned blissfully to Boy#2 and said, "How did I ever live without this?!" 

At least they didn't start a small fire.

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