In common conception, the work of art is often identified with the building, book, painting, or statue in its existence apart from human experience. Since the actual work of art is what the product does with and in experience, the result is not favorable to understanding. – John Dewey, Art as Experience (1934).
I have written about Family Night each year at Assets because the event is so extraordinary that I always feel compelled to talk about it and share it with others. I have seen few events, at any school, that rival Family Night’s ability to celebrate student creativity and brilliance. My favorite part of the evening is that all students have at least one piece of artwork displayed. If you were on campus, you saw how the walls transform into a breathtaking art gallery. It’s beautiful. Core to its beauty is knowing that it’s a constellation of every single student’s imagination, effort and expression displayed at one time.
Truth be told, it’s difficult to capture in words how and why this evening is so special. You have to see the excitement that the children have when they’re dragging their parents and siblings down the hall to find their artwork. And the smiles and pride on their face when they take a picture next to their artwork. For middle schoolers, it’s often the parents who are beaming with pride, as they see their child presenting in front of other students and adults. This is a wonderful moment because it’s often a side of the child that parents don’t see as much in the familiar confines of their home. Continue reading
This has been my first year at Assets and I can’t imagine how it could have been more splendid. There have been countless wonderful moments that I’m sure I’ll hold dear for a long time. And while I know the year is not over yet, and that the 8th grade recognition ceremony will be incredibly emotional, it would be difficult to imagine a more special evening than Wednesday’s Family Night. Family Night is composed of our Art Show, Book Fair and Middle School Project Based Learning Expo. The night had so many of my favorite things. It had demonstrations of student work that showcased how brilliant our kids are, a palpable enthusiasm for books, art displayed everywhere, the entire K-8 community coming together, families on campus….it even had a candy bar! The best part was that it was truly student-centric. If you noticed, the faculty were there to support but students led. Continue reading
ʻAʻohe pau ka ʻike i ka hālau hoʻokāhi
(All knowledge is not taught in the same school)
As the school year winds down, I’ve been thinking about the above ʻōlelo noʻeau and its immense wisdom. One can learn from many sources. These past nine months, our faculty and students have been the beneficiaries of many opportunities to learn and grow from wonderful, diverse sources beyond the walls of Assets School.
When we as adults think back to our finest or most influential teachers, we often recall someone who wasn’t a classroom teacher in a traditional school. Many times we think of a parent, a kumu hula, martial arts instructor, sports coach, or musician. This is because we often learn some of our greatest lessons about ourselves and others in theaters, museums, studios, and on stages and playing fields. Continue reading
K-4 Rules for Play
Since the early weeks of the school year, our counselors have been supporting our K-4 students in the process of developing their own Rules for Play. Our counselors visited each classroom with Ms. Peggy’s shark puppet (named “Trouble”) and discussed what kinds of problems “Trouble” causes on the playground. Then, the students brainstormed a list of rules that would solve these problems. The counselors took all the suggestions and categorized them. Finally, the students were presented with the categorized list of rules and voted on the ones they felt most strongly about.
I’m happy to announce our new K-4 Rules for Play are: Continue reading