Deciding What is Important

The Khabele School is incredibly unique in that it honors a full student education versus just the books. It’s a great effort to combat the factory of schools and the assembly line style of education that most school systems offer. Examples of our efforts include:

Project Week! Project week at the Khabele School is summarized here

In short, students are given about 6 weeks of prep time leading up to the week prior to Spring Break. We cancel classes and students are provided time to explore a topic of their choice. After spring break they return to give a presentation to their peers about what they did and what they learned. Think “If I had one week to do whatever interests me, what would I do?” It’s pretty amazing.

The Forward! The Forward is like a retreat, except we aren’t returning to anything. We are projecting ourselves forward into the people we want to become. It’s a two night camping trip to the Texas hill country. Kumbaya Bro.

Student Led Conferences! Students and parents sign up for a 30 minute time slot with their advisor. Students then walk through their academic and personal lives with their parent and advisor. This allows for a structured catch up time or allow for students to officially declare areas of their life that need assistance. It takes place in the fall and spring semester and we shut down school for two days each time.

These things are amazing but what that means by the end of May is that my classes meet for about 2 weeks less than a typical class. My PBL geometry book has 68 pages. I didn’t make the book but I am adapting it to my school. This year I’ll be lucky to get to page 55 with one of my sections and page 50 with another. This summer I plan on cutting back some of the problems so as to shorten the book to 60 pages. It’s going to be a painful process because I will likely look at every problem and think it’s worthwhile. The only thing I can think now is that the beginning sections are slow which is nice for the students but they spend an incredible amount of time just on Pythagorean Theorem. If I could cut a week from that, it’s a start. Otherwise, it could mean identifying questions that are more for fun and skipping them. But do you leave them in the book and hope that a curious student still does them or do you cut it entirely so as to have a consolidated book in which every problem is completed? This is a lot of work to figure out but it’s a great project for the summer!

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