On her first day of 4th grade at Positive Tomorrows, Kariba gasped upon entering her classroom. “Where are our desks? What is going on with this room?!” she asked.
Just a handful of traditional school desks dotted the room. A kitchen table, a coffee table, a standing desk and other work areas also greeted her. Computer stations on one side of the room complemented a cozy, technology-free reading nook.
“You get to pick how you learn best,” explained her teacher, Mrs. Fryer. “You know better than I do how you learn, so sit wherever you’d like!”
In a classroom full of varying academic levels, Mrs. Fryer cannot teach every student the same thing at the same time. Some are still learning to read while others are working on more advanced concepts. For them to succeed, she must break them down into small groups.
These groups work throughout the day at the various learning stations, and Mrs. Fryer and her assistant rotate to teach them, while some students work together independently. Students aren’t only learning to read and write, they’re also developing social skills, learning to collaborate, and becoming leaders.
For many of our students, it’s the first time they’re not embarrassed because they’re behind academically. Their peers can’t tell. Other children are relieved they can sit or stand and wiggle during lessons without reprimand. Our students are experiencing school in a new, positive light and they love it.
“It’s so much fun in our classroom now,” said Kariba. “We have more room to learn, more places to create things, and there’s lots of space to dance in the middle of the room now!”
We give our students a positive educational experience, an experience that instills in them the desire to be life- long learners, and to love creating, wherever they may go.