From 3 to 91: Intergenerational and Interdependent

March 31, 2009 at 9:31 pm Leave a comment

posted by Alisa Algava ‘08, leader of a small Hudson Valley progressive school

alisanephewEverything, including all people, exists only through relationships with other people or things.  Nothing exists in isolation or absolute independence.  No person, or thing can arise of, for, or by its own accord.  Everything is interdependent.  ~Taro Gold

What a wonderful day we had on Friday.  It was our annual Grandparents and Grandfriends Day, which we combined with our annual Pancake Lunch for the very first time.  Thanks go out to the weather, to the kids and teachers, and to the hard work everyone did with the cookingsyrup, the setup, the pancakes, the activities, the singing and sign language, and the cleanup.  Each group in the school did its piece to contribute to the overall success of the day.  The “Downstairs” (pre-K and kindergarten) made the applesauce, the “Upstairs” (1st through 5th grades) made enough batter for 220 eatingpancakes and decorated the Amphitheater, and the “Carriage House” (middle school and high school) set up the tables and cooked the pancakes.  Throughout the past two months, everyone in the school helped tap the maple trees, collect the sap, boil the sap, and make our very own SCHOOLMADE MAPLE SYRUP.

When we work together, we are able to accomplish so much more than any one of us could ever do alone.  This is the inherent value of living and learning in community with each other.  I learn from you, you learn from me.  We help each other to make things happen, and ultimately, to grow individually and collectively.

schoolThe other beautiful part of Friday’s event was seeing so many proud and loving grandfriends and grandchildren interacting and enjoying the day together.  One of my favorite memories of our small progressive school is an “intergenerational” one from a few years ago.  From a distance, I noticed two kids on the swings in the playground, which, in and of itself, is not an unusual sight.  But one of the kids was a big 8th grade boy and the other was a small 3-year-old girl.  And they were deep in conversation.  Connecting with each other, young and not-quite-as-young, is part of what makes this school so special.

Alisa Algava graduated from Bank Street’s Leadership for Educational Change program in December.  For the past 14 years, she has taught and learned in public, private, and charter schools in NY, NJ, and RI.  She has written a few postings in the past two months about her experiences leading and learning in a small progressive school.  Alisa loves learning.  She loves moderating The Alumni Blog. And she really loves her nephew.

Entry filed under: collaboration, community, constructivism, democratic education, dialogue, families, social-emotional learning.

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Some of Our Past Bloggers

Alisa Algava ‘08, leader of a small Hudson Valley progressive school
Gloria Arenson ’58, psychotherapist
Bill Ayers ‘84, UIC professor, Chicago
Fred Baumgarten ‘84, writer/musician/naturalist/father
Keith Berman '03, founder/president of Options for College and Bank Street’s LinkedIn moderator
David Bowles ’08 (SFC ’93), museum educator at the Rubin Museum of Art
Elena Canaras ‘07, Special Education teacher, Hawaii
Virginia Casper, Bank Street faculty member
Jim Clay ‘88, director of a Washington DC Quaker preschool
Mary DeCamp Cotterall ‘87, Reading Specialist, Michigan
Judy Coven ’77, retired public school teacher and former Antioch University faculty member
Leslie Day '93, adjunct instructor at Bank Street and author of Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City
Mary Louise (Molly) Day ‘76, Lab School teacher, Chicago
Liezel de La Isla ‘99, Prague International School teacher
Diane Trister Dodge '70, founder and president of Teaching Strategies, Inc.
Meghan Dunn ’08, 3rd grade teacher, Brooklyn
Steven Evangelista ’01, co-director Harlem Link Charter School, NYC
Janine Fetters ‘02, Senior Associate of Parent Engagement at NACCRRA
Dena Florczyk '88, middle school teacher and founder/director of The Nigerian School Project
Hollee Freeman '94, writes about parenting issues for the alumni blog and was featured on BSCAA's April 2012 Career Panel
Ellen Galinsky '70, is President and Co-Founder of Families and Work Institute and author of Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs
Joanne Ruvolo Gannett ‘84, Columbia College art history professor, Chicago
Joan Goldstein ‘67, sociologist and educator
Margot Hammond, Director of the Center for Early Childhood Professionals
Carol Hillman ‘67, early childhood educator, author, and Long Trip co-leader
Pam Jones ‘05, Bank Street advisor and instructor
Lee Klinger Lesser ‘87, trainer for the Parent Services Project
Preminda Langer ‘97, teacher trainer
Claire Milam ’97, life coach, Austin, Texas
Rabin Nickens ‘03, Speaker, Trainer and Educational Consultant
Beth Norford ‘89, consultant and former School for Children teacher
Susy Ogden ‘97
Marion Palm ‘95, Leadership in the Arts alum, writing tutor, poet and singer
Jessica Poser, assistant professor of art education at UIC, Chicago
Jesse Pugh '76, BSCAA President
Meg Rauen ‘06, former Chicago elementary school teacher, NY
Linda Reing, Bank Street Director of Alumni Relations
Rosalind Rothman '62, retired NYC teacher and guidance counselor
Kyla Ryman '92/'97, educational coach and consultant
Ariel Sacks ‘06, middle school teacher, Brooklyn, NY
Linda Appleman (Guidall) Shapiro ‘81, psychotherapist and author
Barbara Silver ‘80, literacy consultant and former NYC first grade teacher
Andrea Penny Spencer, former Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Bank Street
Debbie Stone ‘84, former teacher/co-director of High Valley School
Rachel Theilheimer ‘74, chair of teacher education at BMCC/CUNY
Theodore Timpson ’05, founder/president of Young Spirit Foundation
Eleanor Traubman '95, is Editor in Chief of Creative Times, a blog which promotes NYC's performing, visual and literary arts
Allison Warren '08, new mom, recent grad, and early childhood teacher
Max Weinberg ‘03, Francis Parker School teacher, Chicago
Ted Wells ‘07, 4th grade teacher at The Park School, Brookline, MA
Tracy Wiessbrod ’03, kindergarten teacher and stay-at-home mom

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