The feeling of community that is embedded in PFS, and that keeps it alive and thriving, is like no other. Someone once asked me what it is about this school that my old school just couldn’t get right, and the very first thing out of my mouth was “Well, people actually care when I walk in the door here.” I think that is so rare for a school - for the people in the community to really care about each other and be genuinely concerned about people’s well being.
Maddy didn’t have a mock presidential election at her school, like some other schools did. She was part of the actual presidential election, and I know she will be part of the actual presidential election four years from now. She told me so before bed on election night. “Mommy, the next election we’ll start early. We’ll go from house to house and talk to people. You’ll have to take off early from work. We’ll do it together.” This is the power that democratic education holds. For me right now, PFS is powerful. PFS is hope.
My friend recently posted a meme on his Facebook page declaring “Maslow before Bloom,” with the comment, “My teacher friends will get this!”
In January 2016, Michelle interviewed Kai, a 13 year old student, about his work with the Cooking Co-Op to change the procedures for using the kitchen. His reflections on the process sheds a little light on how the learning happens at PFS. Kai developed much more than his baking skills along the way.
Recently, a friend of mine was recounting difficulties in one of her personal relationships with me. She said over and over, “It’s like every time something is not as easy as he expects, he just stops trying.”