Bay State Learning Center in Dedham, MA (near Boston) is looking for an Instructor/Program Director to join their alternative self-directed learning community.
BSLC is looking for a forward-thinking educator with enthusiasm and creativity to not only teach, but serve as program director. BSLC is in it’s fourth year of operation and has a stable, thriving program on the cusp of growing much larger. Do the kind of creative teaching you have always wanted to do, without the power struggles and unnecessary difficulties of traditional school. In a small setting like BSLC the potential for developing new ideas is limitless.
Work as part of a small team running a self-directed learning community of about 27 kids ages 10-19.
Flexibly teach a small variety of subjects in once-a-week classes; topics include the instructor’s training areas and personal interests as well as the student’s interests and needs.
Guide students to an excited, open-minded and active interest in learning.
Advise students in one-on-one advising sessions with an assigned selection of students, assisting students to define their goals, pursue class work, develop general/life organizational strategies, begin college planning, etc.
Maintain good documentation of class sessions as well as all advising sessions in the dedicated online databases for each.
Work with parents and families to help with the ongoing learning and development of the students.
Be available for students if they need assistance with any self-directed activity from getting started and organized to completion.
Help organize the weekly class schedule, as well as the yearly calendar.
Manage/Work with volunteer teachers to find, schedule and maintain a diverse selection of classes.
Help to run fundraising and outreach events to promote our program and keep it vital.
Help maintain a social media presence and assist with mass emails/newsletters.
Bonus if able to help with website updates and marketing graphic design.
Two years ago we started a holistic learning community in Bogotá Colombia. We are currently trying to implement a dual language program and looking for some guidance. We are looking for other alternative programs that have implemented unique self-directed ELL programs? We really want it to be unique in that it’s effective, student directed, and impactful. We are having trouble finding any schools who have done it a different way! Any guidance or direction would be greatly appreciated.
This week I was reading about Personalized Education in one of the newsletters we receive. We’ve heard a lot about this lately and the term seems to be used more and more. You might ask, does this mean that our concept of learner-centered education is being widely adopted?
Well, not necessarily. When we talk about learner-centered education in our schools we include the concept that what students learn should be based upon and built from their interests. And in the case of democratic schools, students are specifically empowered to make significant decisions about themselves, their education and their schools.
It could be argued that learner-centered education is a form of personalized education. But is personalized education learner-centered education? When you look carefully at what some schools and educators mean by this you discover that they are talking about an education DESIGNED BY TEACHERS to fit what they believe each student needs. It seems to me that this is quite different from learner-centered education. What do you think? We’d like to hear. Write to us. We’ll print some of your comments.
Filmmaker Marvin Blunte has made an incredible documentary about Moo Baan Dek, The Children’s Village, a very special school/orphanage in rural Thailand. I have known about it for decades, as it was inspired by Summerhill and runs democratically. The film, “6 Weeks to Mothers Day,” will have its world premier on Thursday November 16th at the DOC NYC
film festival in lower Manhattan at the IFC Center
It was founded 38 years ago by Rajani Dhongchai, known as Mae Aew, or Mother and her husband, Piphop. The film centers around the celebration of Mothers Day 38 years after Mae Aew founded the Village. She will be at the showing and will see the film for trhe first time!
It is very skillfully filmed and has many insightful and dramatic scenes. For example one shows two young twins meeting with their birth parents for their first time in memory. There are also several scenes with democratic meetings. The documentary is not a public relations piece but shows a variety of real life situations and issues.
If tickets are sold out please email: email@example.com
and let them know you would like to be put on the waiting list. Additional screenings my be added.
6 WEEKS TO MOTHER’S DAY is also collaborating with Google Expeditions
to create a virtual reality (VR) field trip, where teachers and students can use Google Cardboard to be transported to Children’s Village Thailand. This will be the first ever Expedition available in both English and Thai, further solidifying Mother Aew as one of the most progressive minded teachers in the country. Special edition “6 Weeks to Mother’s Day” Google Cardboards will be handed out to the audience after the DOC NYC screening, and instructions will be posted on the film’s Facebook page
If you are further afield you can look for other places the film will show and you can reach the filmmaker at
or follow them on their social media pages here: