Author: Molly

Author: Molly

More than a Doll House: A Peace Valley Project
March 11, 2018 Uncategorized Molly

How student-led learning works at Peace Valley School: As I write this, two students are working together to fix a guitar amp.  The sound was “brassy” so a student brought it in from home.  Our resident maker (engineer, problem solver) took it apart, plugged it in and did what she does.  She is thirteen.  Since

Superhero School
June 16, 2017 Uncategorized Molly

I was in the middle of writing “Our Story” for our media kit, when a note from my editor snapped the purpose of Peace Valley School into focus for me. My editor is also my friend, Melissa, who is an English and journalism teacher and fellow UVa graduate.  She is therefore, shall we say…exacting?  She’s

Standing on the Shoulders of Maria Montessori
February 20, 2017 Uncategorized Molly

So we may have accidentally developed a Montessori school. As I developed my educational philosophy over the years, I mostly went with my gut and my understanding of adolescent development to make my pedagogical choices; Lesson by lesson, day by day.  I came to some major philosophical conclusions, like young people should be treated like real

Twitter is Real
January 22, 2017 Uncategorized Molly

I was a debater in high school.  While I was moderately successful, I wasn’t the best.  The best debater, during my years competing in Oregon high school forensics, at least, was a guy by the name of Marshall Kirkpatrick.  I remember he had a deep, commanding voice, a charming way of connecting with the judges

“Where Are the Desks Going to Go?”
December 16, 2016 Uncategorized Molly

“Where are the desks going to go?” The house was still just bones and plywood when our friend Dave asked that.  We brought him up the stairs and showed him and his fabulous wife the classroom loft.  He has three girls, two of whom are still in high school.  He spends a lot of time

Stumbling through Agile
November 27, 2016 Uncategorized Molly

When Brian sat down at his first board meeting, John turned to him and asked (after introducing himself), “So what’s your superpower?”  Our esteemed board president seems to think that I’m some sort of Director Fury gathering my team of Educational Avengers.  He’s not wrong.  The people I approached with the concept of Peace Valley

Inquiry-based Learning
July 14, 2016 Information Molly

In inquiry based education, the student asks the questions….and answers them. There are many scholarly and not-so-scholarly articles about inquiry-based learning online but they go a long way to say something very basic: It is when the students ask questions to guide their own learning. That’s how I explain inquiry-based learning based on my own

Micro schools: What we are, and what we are not
July 14, 2016 Uncategorized Molly

When board secretary Megan Corvus started looking into other, comparable, schools to Peace Valley online, she couldn’t find any. If any of you know Megan, you understand that this is due to an absence of similar schools and not to a lack of research savvy. The truth is that most micro-schools are privately owned (not