Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to hear Daniel Pink speak at the Community Campus in Hailey. His analysis of what motivates us has been chronicled in books, and his TED Talk is in the top ten for views. His message last week centered around the impact autonomy has on motivation. As Pink said, the mindset of a traditional management style for its employees is: Defy or Comply. What happened to Engage?
The Class of 2014 graduation ceremony on June 2 was filled with reflection, celebration, and a few tears. This year’s speaker, Dave Whorton, holds unique insight into the remarkable education every student receives at Community School.
Parent of Rylee ’20 and Briggs ’18 and husband of Board of Directors member Lisa, Dave has been an advocate for our distinctive brand of education. During his address, Dave shared his thoughts about our school’s balance of skill and knowledge acquisition with an emphasis on character development, and why character might be the most important of all in “the real world.”
Below is the full transcript from his address.
As I get ready to close the book on my year at Community School, I have been doing a fair amount of reflection. As I look back on my year, I don’t watch long reels of memory tape. Instead, I remember blasts of moments and, with the clarity that distance provides, think about how they fit together. For those who might not know, one of the current musical trends is mash-ups. A mash-up is a song created by weaving multiple songs together. Instead of mixing Beethoven with Luke Bryan, I decided to mash-up my year into one day.
When the email hit my inbox declaring Wednesday our First Grade’s “Invention Convention,” it immediately went on my calendar. How cool is it to get the first fifteen minutes of my day to find out what a 6 year old would invent?
In this video, juniors and seniors at Community School are participating in a Moot Court on current laws (some from Idaho and some from other states) restricting a woman’s constitutionally protected right to a previable abortion. Attorney teams of two students present their oral arguments and nine student Justices can interrupt them at any time to have their questions answered. Students stand and deliver in the same manner experienced by constitutional attorneys and Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The subject tried to experience life an hour a day as a bird. The subject lived during that time as she would live in her house, except the subject was on the roof. The subject perched on steep shale sides in search of bird neighbors, saw the world from a higher aspect, felt the breeze the her hair (which the subject called “feathers” during her bird transition) and had the opportunity to just listen–to everything”
As the first trimester comes to a close, it is a time for reflection, not just for students, but also for teachers. We teachers package all that we have taught in tidy, thick exams. We ask students to evaluate our courses online and let us know what they liked and what we could do better. Classes have ended. Instead, kids mill about in the hallways, eagerly drilling each other before each exam, spouting out chemical formulas with confidence or trepidation, repeating important historical dates over and over again, grabbing a passing teacher and asking desperately, “Is the exam hard?” Things are coming to a close. It’s tangible.
Imagine having the opportunity to speak French and learn Creole in our school in Sun Valley, Idaho, thousands of miles away from the country of Haiti! Community School French students recently had the opportunity to speak with Father Constant from Haiti, who is the director of the Haiti Micah Project for children.