Opal School graduation ceremonies are celebrations filled with songs and speeches. The Opal 4 teacher talks about each of the graduating students’s gifts and we see images of the children taken throughout their years at the school. The children, as well, speak about each other and their time at the school. Below is what two of the 2014 graduates had to say about their school.
What It’s Like to Learn At Opal School
We learn a lot here because we learn in a way that’s fun and keeps all of us engaged. We learn a lot more about the meaning of things and we get to share all of our ideas and make theories and metaphors and all of those fun, awesome things that are imagination.
Like the group brain – a metaphor we made about collaboration, a word we cracked open and found the meaning of. Then we made the collaboration castle to represent the group brain and it had all of our ideas represented in it.
When it was in our classroom, whenever we needed to come back to the group brain, we came back to our rooms in the collaboration castle.
At Opal, you imagine what you want to learn about, mostly about project work. Imagine you would learn history from a book: in a book it happens the way the author wants, but in project work, we can make it happen the way we want it to.
When we learn history, we get to re-enact what happened and be characters to feel what it might have been like in colonial times and maybe even the Revolutionary War.
At Opal, there isn’t just one way to do things.
There’s always a second way and maybe even a third.
At other schools, the teacher might say, “This is how you solve a problem,” but here we can say, “This is how we solve the problem.” We get to discuss how to solve the problem and what is the most effective way to solve it.
We can learn in different ways – like we have more time to explore different ideas and topics on our own. We have more freedom to do different things- our ideas are really listened to. When we’re having read aloud, we stop and we talk and we open up the ideas but in normal schools they just read straight through it.
Here we are lucky to be heard.