When I think of Marian Hope Academy, I think of a treasure box. For the past five months I have had the privilege of being on staff as a Paraprofessional and a sub for different classes. I knew Marian Hope was a treasure from the first time I heard about it and have been discovering its true, hidden treasure found inside every day since I started here at this unique school.
One thing I have discovered is the class conversations that create an atmosphere of learning and critical thinking by engaging. I was sitting in as a sub for an upper grade class and was amazed at the way these students were learning. They had a worksheet with a list of words but instead of just staring at them and reading them they were discussing them together. They made jokes, shared observations, and made up stories all around learning this list of words! Who knew school could be so interactive! The conversation was completely student led. What was happening in that hour class was way more than just memorizing a list of words. These individuals were critically thinking, they were teaching one another, and they were learning relational and communication skills. I truly thought, if only I could do school again. Of all the homeschool, public school, college education I have had I would have chosen to learn the way these students were learning and would have learned far more.
I am also amazed at the different teaching methods. At first I was a bit unsure of these methods because of how different it was from other schools. The last few months have shown that these methods work! There are fewer worksheets and way more interaction using things like building blocks and objects that the student can observe and experiment with. This makes creativity thrive and encourages the student to learn and come up with conclusions.
From Kindergarten to High School the students and staff amaze me. I think this is a school where the teachers let the students teach them how to teach. In other words, if a student is not getting a certain concept or struggling in a certain subject the teacher changes the teaching method or approach. The kids are seen as unique with each one having different learning styles.
Here at Marian Hope, the students are learning so much more than just academics. They are learning to problem solve, to communicate their thoughts, to know how they learn, to accept their fellow peers, and to critically think amongst other things.
I so enjoy Marian Hope. I am discovering more about how to learn and teach from these students and staff. This is just a peek into some of the inside treasures that I have found here at Marian Hope and am confident that I will continue to find more.
~Anna Kirtly, Paraprofessional at Marian Hope Academy