Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Summers-Knoll Faculty Profiles: an introduction

Prospective parents inquiring about our school ask me from time to time; what is the teaching style at Summers-Knoll? The truth of the matter is that it mixes different styles, in no one single tradition, and that is a big part of our success. A former parent wrote to me the other day about her son, 'We're amazed, as are many of the teachers at his current school, at the depth of knowledge he has in relation to many of the other students at his school -- not just in math, but across the board.' The reason this student has this knowledge is that he has been taught by a variety of teachers - Susan, me, former SK teachers David Cyrus, Matt Perry and Catie Quist, and most recently by Will Purves. All these educators have very different styles: the combination of a variety of outstanding teachers makes an amazing, eclectic experience for a developing mind. Another parent mentioned to me when Will took over the 4-5 classroom last year how privileged her daughter was to have him as a teacher after the array of other spectacular teachers she had already been lucky enough to work with. What an opportunity to open new doors and think ever more deeply and creatively!

What all the teachers have in common is a commitment to honor each child as an individual and help them in their unique educational journey. Teachers love to work here because their own individuality is also honored and celebrated; each one is a passionate educator, a brilliant teacher, a loving guide, and each one has his or her own style of being in the classroom. They are free to educate in the best way that they, with their particular strengths, possibly can. They are trusted to respond to the children in their class and evolve the curriculum with those particular individuals in mind, with the flexibility to meet the needs of the children in the best way that they can. What I want to do over the next few posts is introduce you to each of our homeroom teachers as an educator, to give you some insights into their personal styles and what they are accomplishing in collaboration with your children. So watch this space! First up, Will Purves.

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