The foundation of The Growing Garden Academy is centered on the needs of your children and your family. When developing the curricula and classroom, we wanted to build a progressive, educational environment by bringing together the theories and practices from the best pedagogical minds in the country, all with one goal in mind: Create an opportunity for students to learn the best they can, all day, every day.
This vision is built from the ground up—starting with the classroom design.
“We envision this school as being progressive, even down to the layout of the classroom,” says Sara Mintz, director of The Growing Garden Academy. The classroom will not be the traditional, linear set up that many remember from their childhood where the teacher stands at the front and the desks are all lined up in rows facing her. Instead, in order to encourage working collaboratively, desks will be clustered in interesting shapes, which can also be taken apart in times when students need to work independently.
Spaces around the classroom will also be set up to cater to the unique learning styles of every student. There will be high tables for when students want to learn standing up, and beanbags and couches for a more relaxed studying vibe. The school will supply big balls for those students who are better equipped at learning while moving a bit. Space will even include areas for lying down if a student prefers to read or write on his tummy.
“It caters to how the student learns best and depending on his or her mood for the day,” Mintz says.
Everything in the classrooms will have value.
The teaching philosophy models this new way of thinking as well. The teacher isn’t the “end-all be-all” keeper of knowledge, spouting out facts for the children to recite back. Instead, the teacher is a vessel to assist students in developing critical thinking skills of their own.
“The spotlight is on the child,” says Mintz. “We want to build an environment where every child is able to learn. Our job is to make sure that all the information they need is at the students’ fingertips, and that we give them the inspiration to learn.” In other words, the classroom is a microcosm, a mini world, where The Growing Garden Academy supplies students with all of the tools they need to be successful.