After a full day of driving from Tinmouth, Vermont, we spent the night about an hour outside of Edgecomb. Edgecomb, Maine is the home of the Center for Teaching and Learning.
“The Center for Teaching and Learning, a K-8 independent school was founded by Nancie Atwell in 1990….CTL is a teacher-founded, teacher-run school. The board of directors oversees the corporation and its financial status, and the faculty determines program, curriculum, and staffing.”
I had attempted to connect with the school while on the road through email and had not heard back, but when I arrived at the school around 11am on a school day, they were gracious and flexible and spent a bit of time with me to talk and show me around a bit.
The school is located on a tree covered New England street. The lawns are green and most houses were wood shingle white. A hand lettered sign by the side of the road announced a public supper upcoming.
As I approached the school door a group of children and some teachers were rounding the bend, coming from the yard. I was guided up the stairs to the main office where I explained my vision quest to the people there. I was introduced to the school director who swept me up in a friendly way and we were off to find a quiet place to chat. The classrooms we passed were a comfortable size and ..what I noticed most were the windows. Lots of them. We settled in the eight grade room where there were desks, rocking chairs, and remnants of thinking.
I learned that the day starts with a whole school morning meeting. K-8. I was encouraged to come the next day to observe, because it would be a very good way to experience the essence of student experience at school. The children had been collecting their ideas about the animals in their surroundings and would be discussing what they have been seeing and learning about them.
I must sadly report that I was unable to make their meeting the next day as I would be three or four hours up the road by then..
This is a school that is doing cutting edge work. Please explore their website.