Whitefield Academy Blog
Parents in the School: Lifelong Learning
One of the first things I spotted when I started teaching at Whitefield Academy seven years ago was a quote from Henry Adams: “They know enough who know how to learn.” Providing our students with a variety of tools to place in their learning toolbox is at the core of what we do. They are learning how to learn.
More Than Just the Students
Also central to what we pursue is a vision of a learning community that includes not only the students and the teachers but also the parents. A good school may often be viewed as a safe place where, as a parent, I can send my child. Fair enough. But we want our parents also to understand that they are invited to participate in a learning community that provides lifelong learning experiences for them to enjoy.
My role as Family Outreach Educator is to help cultivate this vision and watch it grow. Over the past two years I have enjoyed small Reading Circles with parents, where we practice what we do in the Upper School by reading enriching texts and talking about them. Nothing intimidating. Certainly more relaxed than the classroom setting. Perhaps taking place at the school, but just as likely at Panera or in the home. I have had the pleasure of enjoying conversation with parents over the writings of Virgil, Boethius, Milton, C.S. Lewis, and others. Not only have we enjoyed the texts, but we have come to know each other, knit together in a truly lifelong learning community.
Group Outings are another avenue for us to together enjoy the delight of discovery. This year an Astronomy Enthusiasts group has formed, prompted by a request from one of our families. In the Fall we visited the Powell Observatory in Louisburg, Kansas for a delightful evening of stargazing and planet watching, including marvelous close-up views of the moon and the rings of Saturn. This Winter our venue was the Union Station Planetarium for their terrific Seasonal Sky Tour show.
Our Spring outing will take place on April 21, 7:30 PM, when we will meet up at the Paul Tebbe Observatory at Johnson County Community College for an “Evening With The Stars” presentation followed by a tour of the night sky, weather permitting.