Escuela Viva Guiding Principles In Practice:
Learning occurs in a collaborative process between the children, the parents, the classroom environment, and the teachers. To make a truly effective program we take a holistic approach to education. Part of this holistic approach is the human need for consistency as well as flexibility. We have set certain expectations for all Escuela Viva classrooms. These expectations have been set in a manner that allows us to have components that our parents and children can rely on, all the while allowing room for the creativity, skills, talents, and inspiration of each classroom community (children, parents, and teachers) to come alive.
The Learning Process: Children, at Escuela Viva, are viewed as competent active learners (constructivism). Teachers are but one means by which the children learn. Learning occurs in collaboration between the classroom environment, the adult teachers, parents and the children (Reggio Emilia).
All Escuela Viva teachers are nurturers, guides, and partners in learning. An Escuela Viva teacher facilitates the children’s explorations through long and short projects and guides experiences of joint, open-ended discovery and problem solving. To know how to plan and proceed with their work, teachers listen and observe children closely. Teachers ask questions, discover children’s ideas, hypotheses, and theories – and provide opportunities for discovery and learning. Teachers are researchers working with children.
Classroom Components (practices): At Escuela Viva we have specific practices that are consistent throughout each classroom. As children grow and move up through the various classrooms, these consistencies strengthen the learning, the individual and the community as a whole. Each practice may look a bit different from class to class, as the magnetism of the teaching team and the student body from year to year contribute to the creativity and actuality of the specific component
The Environment: In Reggio Emilia the environment is a third teacher, for us it is one of four. Teachers must incorporate this when setting up their classrooms. Teachers must take great care to ensure that their classrooms are a place where children feel a calming, peaceful, happy energy. This is accomplished by the personal energies that are brought into the classroom, the tone and volume of voice that is used in the classroom, as well as the physical setup of the classroom.
Team Work: We, as educators, come together as a team not only with our vision and personal stories, but also with a set of expectations and responsibilities to one another. Knowing what is expected and intended for each team member we are better able to promote the highest quality, professional, consistent and respectful school environment. Teachers support each person’s personal and professional endeavors to the best of our ability. In turn, we have shared commitment to be 100% accountable for the work we do, collaborating with all other members of our community.