Hi, We're a group of 20 parents in the UCLA area, who are creating our own solution to the Middle School Crisis, by starting our own, one-classroom, low-tuition private middle school. Our goal/vision/mission is not to help our kids "get into Harvard," but to help them acquire the skills needed to create the happiest lives they can create for themselves (and if that happens to include Harvard, we're not opposed). We're looking to hire a FUN, energetic, PBL-student-centered teacher who actually still likes kids (and shows it), who "gets it" in terms of PBL/student-centeredness, and has at least a few years experience doing it so they can hit the ground running to help us create a school experience that our kids will be eager to get to because it's flat out fun. And challenging. (That it also comports to state-standards will be our secret). The model is a "nano-school" - one classroom, 20 kids total, one teacher to teach across subjects, using PBL (and when appropriate, a "flipped classroom") to help kids create their own 21st century learning. To us, "21st Century education" means becoming fluent in the skills needed to thrive in 1. the world around them (one of accelerating change) and 2. the world INSIDE them (which to us is just as important, if not more so). Students' inner worlds - especially in this age group - is crucial, and almost entirely overlooked as an area that requires education/training/insight. We're working with the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center in this regard, and may well find ourselves in a classroom space on the UCLA campus. We also plan to integrate 45-60 minutes of aerobic physical activity in 10 minute chunks into the school day. This combination of PBL, mindfulness and physical activity is unique and (research shows) combines three powerful drivers of superior learning. We will launch in Fall 2013 - unless our current school goes off the rails under the incoming principal, and we need to act much sooner. If you know of any such educators, we'd love to hear from them - could you refer us to them or them to us? Thanks much, Bill Grundfest
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