What are the Possibilities?

In my last year of teaching, I had a current events class with about 20 seniors. We talked about schools and alternatives. We did some calculations looking back at their school careers: 20 kids, 13 years in the district each, about 1,260 hours a year in school (not including homework), about $15,000 per student per year in the district. Grand total estimate for the 20 combined: 327,600 hours in school and 3.9 million dollars invested by the community.

I asked them what they thought of that. The girl in the back raised her hand – “What a waste.”

Not every teenager thinks that school is a waste, but my experience has been that a lot do or that it is just something they have to get through and really doesn’t hold any meaning for them.

I remember at various times thinking to myself, “what experience could we create if I had 12 kids and $180,000 to work with for 10 months and no unreasonable limits on what we as a group could decide to do with those resources?” Think about that for a moment. Would it be better than the experience kids are having in school now? Would it be better than the experience many teachers are having in school now?

My vision always started with a 15 passenger van…