When a child meets another child around their age, they automatically ask “What grade are you in?” without preliminaries.
I personally find this question demeaning and pointless since when meeting someone new it’s best to learn their interests and personality, and knowing the level of work they are doing will not show this. Also, my school—Alpine Valley— is a Sudbury model and so doesn’t have grades.
For all those out there who have never heard of the Sudbury model, it is a school where kids can learn about the world from the world—where one can learn about themselves as well as the way the world spins around them. It gives kids the chance to push themselves, realized their options, and to breach their own horizons.
The staff of Alpine Valley give moral support but for the most part kids must learn how to get what they want. Whether they do this through classes that they organize, through joining committees or simply learning to ask for help, they learn an essential lesson in getting what they need.
I have many friends at Alpine Valley and the general atmosphere is open and welcoming. Even though everyones’ educational level is different, everyone is okay with showing their true colors and are determined to be who they want to be.
I have also dabbled a touch in plays, performances and improv. In fact I’m performing several improvisational games this coming Monday in front of a crowd! I have connected the “dream big” daring air of Alpine Valley with the playful, outgoing air of improv, and realized that with these qualities, one can do anything.