Blue Mountain School

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Stick 'em up!

Inspired by the mysterious Floyd sign maker (check out the article below to learn more), we have created a series of bumper stickers promoting contemplative progressive education and Blue Mountain School. Come by the office to get yours or order online!

This article, written by BMS Director Shelly Emmett, originally appeared in the Indigo Messenger in February 2013:

Sometime earlier this school year, a sign showed up on the driveway into school. It says "Slow: Free Range Children." I don't know who put the sign up, but I am grateful to the person who did so. Aside from making me smile every time I pass it, this sign contains an excellent reminder of why schools like Blue Mountain School are important and why they are unique.

In a culture that is obsessed with getting things done quickly, with moving through each day just so that we can get to the next one, with teaching kids what they need to know so that they can pass a test, our school works to present children and families with a different approach to education and to life. As a Contemplative Progressive school, focused on nurturing the unique human beings that each of our students are, we value the slow but steady educational process over a tangible product like grades and test scores. We build relationships with our students by getting to know them and helping them to learn to know themselves, by allowing them to make choices and learn from their mistakes. Kids at Blue Mountain School are definitely certified Free Range!

The educational process at our school is a messy one, though: if you cook with your children, you know what I mean. No one would argue that it would be a lot cleaner, faster, and more productive to make the food yourself. But then you'd miss out on the opportunity to build a relationship with your kids by including them in the experience, and the kids would miss out on feeling the sense of accomplishment that comes from helping to produce something that is useful for themselves and their families.

The same is true at our school. It would be a lot cleaner, faster, and yes, more productive to tell students what we think they need to learn, how they should learn it, and why. Teaching through relationship and experience is a much slower process, but it is one that is rich and fruitful beyond the usual measures. It is Free Range quality, without a doubt.

Thank you to our secret sign-maker for the daily reminder that what we are doing is important and valuable!


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