Week 20 in Review: What is school for?


This week, our Heroes toured Mercer University School of Medicine and focused on improving writing!

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Middle School Update

What is school for?

That was the question scribbled on the whiteboard as a Hero led our afternoon launch. Anyone who knows or has ever been a school-aged kid is familiar with the questions: Why do we have to learn this? How will this help us in life? What is the purpose of school in the first place?

I'm not sure how the average student at the average school would respond to that last question, but here's how some of our Heroes articulated their thoughts during the discussion:

  • School is a place to practice friendship. I've learned how to be kinder since coming here.

  • School is a place to focus on our passions.

  • School is where you learn how to be a better you.

  • School is where you practice goal setting and self-learning.

  • I'm less stressed here than at my old school.

  • I've become more outspoken. I can say what I think now.

  • I'm more independent now.

  • I feel more successful.

How would you answer the question?

Elementary Update

How do you write the most compelling paragraph?

At The Forest School, writing is storytelling. The storytelling process in the Elementary Studio has often been an arduous one. For most heroes, the consistency and predictability of Core Skills is preferable to the abstract and vague parameters of writing. As with most things we deem undesirable, the only way to get better at something is to do it often and meticulously—and that’s just what we’ve done. Instead of pushing through in the conventional way of traditional school, we gone back to the basics. We’ve taken the time to build a sturdier foundation; a place that each hero can return to when feeling overwhelmed. We’ve put into practice a “Paragraph of the Week” exercise and have begun utilizing feedback from storytelling experts through The Graide Network.

This week, each hero (Levels 2-5) received personalized feedback on their paragraph that they could apply in real time to their next writing. We’re honing the art of a well-constructed paragraph, in lieu of lengthier essays that lack organization. In the last three weeks, one particular hero took strides from completely avoiding Storytelling Workshop to spending an hour and half organizing and drafting four paragraphs for his session essay! Just yesterday, unanimous groans were heard in the studio when Lisa announced time was up. Every great story began with a word that grew into a sentence and became paragraphs and chapters. The foundation is getting stronger every week.

Enjoy your weekend!

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Tyler Thigpen