first_imgFacebook23Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Phoenix Rising School“It is a problem that so many children love learning and hate school,” says Nick Gillon, The Phoenix Rising School’s Education Director. “It’s a problem when rich, rigorous, relevant and engaging experiences have become the exception rather than the norm.” At heart, he says, the issue is one of equating ‘learning’ with ‘schooling’, and academic schooling at that.But learning encompasses many other skills which are applicable in everyday life, which is why every Friday, Phoenix students from kindergarten through 6th grade get the chance to participate in workshops that run the gamut from crochet to canning, bmx bikes to propulsion science, and acrogym to candle making. The result is enthusiasm, new skills, pride in their work and – dare we say it? – joy.“I don’t know many schools that make homemade spaghetti, bike ride, weave, do pickling and lots of other things,” says Pyrenees, age ten. “This way kids can learn about things that they love,” explains Chatalain, also age ten. “Sometimes if you just get assigned something, you don’t want to be there. When you can choose it, you can easily feel like, ‘I love this because I chose it and I knew what I wanted to do.’”Students find that the skills they pick up in workshops transfer nicely to the rest of their lives. “If you didn’t know how to ride a bike and you took the biking workshop, you would know how to do that skill,” says Helen, a third grader. “And cooking, that’s something we can use every day.”For teachers, workshops offer a chance to teach a subject they’re passionate about. “I get to choose something that I’m really interested in, so it’s not like actually working because I have so much fun,” says 3rd and 4th grade teacher Megan Moskwa, who has taught canning, soap making, candle making and more.“Seeing kids get excited about making blackberry jam really makes my day,” Audrey Goodwin-Arpin concurs. Four days a week she teaches K-1, but on Fridays she has offered acrogym, crochet, jewelry making, knitting and most recently, cooking. “If I like something and I do it in my own life, I transfer that passion to them,” she says.Students and teachers also get an opportunity to mix with people they wouldn’t normally see. According to Miles, a first grader, “You can get to know other people better.” The different grouping of students add to the feeling of a village, says Audrey. “When I see the students outside at recess, I’ve already been their teacher. There’s a different level of respect and a feeling that we’re responsible for all of them, not just the ones in our class. It’s also a way to keep track of the ones that I’ve already had that have moved on from my class.”Here are some of the workshops that have been taught at Phoenix Rising over the last three years:bmx bikesartfairy housescandle makingsoccercookingsurvival skillsacrogymadvanced electronicssoap makingweavingKorean languagepuppetspianotheaterpotterycartoonjournalismjewelry makingimprovsinginglamp makingcreative dramagardeningfiber artsliving historydanceschool beautifulrace carswater colorcarpentryhandbuilt potteryanimepropulsion scienceoutdoor educationdigital photo and videolast_img