After our graduation ceremony and year-end program slide show, one of my teacher friends remarked, “It looks like your students really work together well.” And it is true--they do. But this did not just happen by osmosis. There are several ways that this has been encouraged over the last several years including teaching compassion for others, making the environment safe for students to share their opinions, teaching the students to respect each others’ opinions, and pairing them up with “buddies” weekly for art projects and at every field trip. Through all of these they learn to appreciate each other, respect each other, and to be responsible for those younger and weaker than they.
So, I had not really thought about it, but I had to answer, “Yes, they really do.” They work together really well, and we are all blessed because of it. Working together is so much fun. The last week of school the “red room” (grades 7-12) worked together on two big projects: the graduation reception and the Civil War honor roll party they hosted for all the younger students. Here are some pictures of them the day before graduation as they prepared a Mexican fiesta. All five of the graduates had a younger sibling in the school, so it was decided that they would be the servers. Other red room students showed up too, just to help for fun. And it is a lot of fun working with these incredible people.