Drew also wished to post her 8th grade speech. I am so proud of these kids and the lessons they have learned! Here is her message:
I am very proud of our little school. For me, as an eighth grader, who started at Springdale in seventh grade, I have come to love the way our school has grown. I love that we can go to places like Mexico. I love that we can trust our eighth graders alone outside with sixty plus kindergarten through second graders. I love how much trust we have in our little community at Springdale school.
Springdale school is a place where children are trusted; I know that might sound scary to some parents, but, coming from a student who has experienced learning in a school where parents and teachers don’t trust you, where they have to take kids in groups to the bathroom so children don’t misbehave, where you need twenty chaperones on a trip with fifty kids, it is a much better learning environment when we are trusted.
Here at Springdale, the kids are treated with respect, and they give respect in return. They are trusted to walk in the halls, leave the classroom to use the bathroom without asking. This is better for the students because they learn to be more independent. We learn that there isn’t always going to be someone to hold our hand. We learn to get things done on our own. But most importantly we learn from the freedom. We learn how to do things without an adult around. This trust helps us do projects because we want to, not because someone is making us do them.
Here at Springdale the teachers trust you. There is no need to talk to a seventh grader like they’re eight. We have “studio time”, an hour of free work time to create a sustainable project. (A project that you work on for more than a day) as long as you sign out, you are free to go anywhere in the school to work on these projects. The best part is, the students respect these rules. This is my favorite thing about Springdale. Kids are not only given an artful learning experience, but they are given trust and respect. And that is a thing of excellence.