The New School was my first child, “birthed” when I was only 24, myself, but trained in what was called “British Integrated Day” — referring to the integration of curriculum — and now more aptly called “a project approach” to learning. Looking back, I see that I certainly did start the school with the blind faith of youth, and just as the first years with a child seem so full of questions and uncertainties, as well as wonder and happiness, so it was with the school. Now after so many years we have so many wonderful graduate stories to attest to our success!
I have moved from believing, as I did from the beginning, that children who learn in a non-competititve, self-reliant atmosphere will get the best education because they know themselves and love to learn . . . to KNOWING this is true. My “baby” has grown and passed the turbulent teenage years, which were marked by various attempts to change the school’s philosophy for all kinds of reasons. Yet, although the physical facility has altered (and grown!) over the years, our basic philosophy never did, which is something of which I am very proud. I have also seen for myself, first, that a great school must be founded on what people want and NOT on what they don’t want; and, second, whereas The New School can educate children of almost any personality type, ability level or interest, that education will only be fully effective when the parents support the philosophy.
Today, despite my responsibilities as full-time director, my first love is still to teach, and I spend as much time as possible helping the other teachers in their classrooms in whatever way is most needed. My New School family has grown, but every day is still exciting, often exhausting . . . and never dull!