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It Never Gets Old

by Mark Harris, Aerie Director
How does the Aerie Approach to learning work?  It never gets old because today's generation is always ready for something new. Read how individualized learning (slam poetry or biochemistry anyone?) on two campuses is woven into the fabric of school life in this latest blog post by the creator of Aerie at Wheeler.

A new year arrives, once again. Eager faces bound into school, just like last year and every year before, but it’s somehow always different. “We live in a world of change,” I’m told, “Get used to it.” Well, I am used to it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a constant source of adventure.

This week my son zips into town for his 10th Wheeler reunion, soon to be married — to a Wheeler alum! Is it possible it’s really been a decade? My daughter is on a sports team for the first time, giving me an excuse to experience afternoons at the Farm for the first time in many moons. Each day the reds, the oranges, the yellows, are a bit more pronounced, and in the next few weeks, the fields will be framed in a riot of color, just as always, while the kids on every field and footpath give it their all. The joy of the Farm in the fall — it never gets old.

Lower School children are bringing lunch to classrooms, to study Chinese and Polish and Turkish and Italian. They’re going to Dance Club — is it possible there’s something more appealing than recess? Middle Schoolers hanging out in the DIB Lab, asking for “engineering challenges,” playing golf or learning first aid during electives. What’s new? Everything.

And in Upper School, commentators and classes get in line at the Production Studio to create podcasts.  Kids pursue interests in urban agriculture and architecture and biochemistry and graphic design and slam poetry and sports writing. Three kids are studying Armenian. There are multiple sections of ASL, the quietest classes in the school. This generation isn’t afraid to try something new.

Just as exciting for me are the working groups of faculty colleagues, already refashioning next year and beyond...Flexible scheduling, studio immersion learning, neighborhoods as classrooms, curricular travel experiences, Hamilton outreach — All are on the table for exploring, innovating, creating.

This is why this job never gets old.
216 Hope Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02906-2246
Phone: (401) 421-8100
FAX: (401) 751-7674

Founded 1889

The Wheeler School is an independent coeducational college preparatory day school for Nursery, Pre-K, K-Grade 12 serving Providence, RI, Greater Providence and Greater Boston. The Hamilton School welcomes Grades 1-8 with language-based learning differences.