An Open Letter from a Student
Today we feature a guest blogger, 10-year old Will, who wants to share the details of his Greenfields experience with other Chicago students…
Dear Future Hero,
Many children in Chicago spend 7 hours of their day being stressed, not having any choice, and are exhausted with being bored. Then when they get home they have even more work with homework and studying! Here at Greenfields Academy we don’t have stressful tests, any given homework, or desks that you have to sit in all day. This school is student driven. I have been a student here for 3 years and I have never been happier. The students here make their own rules as a community. You will be in charge of your work and will have other friends here to help you with your work. We all like to work as a team and help each other out. The reason why there is no given homework at Greenfields Academy is so you can spend quality time with your family, and so you are not stressed out about any homework that is due. You will be happy to come to school. I get up everyday and get ready quickly because I know it’s going to be a good day.
Let me tell you a bit about our day. The first thing we do each morning is have a two-minute meditation led by a student. For the next 15 minutes we focus on something inspirational to start our day together. After that we discuss our goals with a partner. Your partner will hold you accountable to those goals. We are able to work wherever we want, on the ground, in a chair, or under a table! There are many places we can go to work. This time of the day is what we call Core, where we focus on reading, writing, and math. When Core is done, we reflect with our partner and talk about what we can improve on and what we are proud of.
Our lunch is not like normal lunches, they are working lunches and we get a lot done when we eat and discuss together. On Mondays we learn about history, we read The Story of the World. On Tuesdays we have lunch as a whole school and discuss things we’d like to improve in the school, then vote on a solution led by the stick person. The stick person is like the person who is the leader of the discussion. On Wednesdays we have a socratic discussion, which is when we debate about a topic with an A or B choice problem. This is my favorite day because we can argue our opinions while still being polite. On Thursdays we celebrate our hard work that we have all finished over the week. To be celebrated you must get a milestone. A milestone is like a mini pit stop in your core work that you can celebrate with the school. Then we watch a video from one of the older students that gives helpful work or life tips in an inspirational way. On Fridays it is a free lunch where we can socialize with our friends. Each day after lunch we go outside and play for 45 minutes.
When we come inside we have project. Project is when we can learn cool stuff. We will do stuff like make rockets, have a real business, and explore your passions. After project, we have studio maintenance. This is when we clean our school. One person will inspect the area and say if it is clean or not clean. If they are complete each person in the area will get 20 hero bucks. Hero bucks are a online fake money system. You can get them by completing your studio maintenance job, leading a discovery day workshop, completing a milestone, being a committee member, or being a stick person.
On discovery day (Fridays) there are field trips and you have to pay hero bucks to go to a field trip. Discovery day is when you can explore your passions and do art, music, or drama. You can lead a workshop and show other people your passion of the workshop that you are leading. The teachers here we call guides, guides are not really like teachers. Guides help us throughout our journey, they ask for help and so do the students here. Greenfields Academy is a great school to go to!
Greenfields Griffin, age 10