A Long Journey; A Path Well Travelled
One of the things that's given me the most joy in working with Twinkle has been seeing my students grow. I know that's like the cliché thing that everybody says, and it's true, but I'm talking about something more. As teachers, we all see our students grow but usually they'll finish their year and move to another teacher, or leave the academy, and that's that. I've been at Twinkle for 5 years and I have two classes that I've been teaching for *four* years. Almost all the same kids!
One thing that's cool about that is seeing them grow up, but the coolest thing has been seeing them intellectually develop. Our curriculum really challenges kids to think about things and build their imagination and creativity. They also read so, so much. They read novels that are emotionally nuanced and learn extra things from the characters in the story. They read history and slowly become global citizens. And then when they're in higher grades (5+) they really start to critically analyze some of the questions of today, as well as delve into philosophy.
Check out this essay one of my students recently wrote:
It was amazing to get that essay. I remember teaching that student back when he was in third grade and we were just reading about barbarians in Europe and landing on the moon. But these days we're reading Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari and the discussions we get out of it in class time are so exciting. It's honestly one of the highlights of my week.
I'm really grateful that I've got to have these experiences with these students. I've been teaching them for so long now that we're all going to remember each other even once we all do eventually move on. I'm really proud of the people they've become, and at least to me, it's obvious they're all destined for some kind of grand future haha. Maybe I'm just being unabashedly optimistic. But to see students who aren't even in middle school thinking like this fills me with wonder. It really is something else!