This small community of Silverton has created this school that only has 65 students. And we have been able to sort of write our own curriculum.
Hi, my name is Megan Davenport, and I teach here at Silverton School. I teach science, math and elementary PE. Expeditionary learning is the idea that learning isn't just from the classroom. That learning can happen outside of the classroom through experts that are maybe more expert in their field than their teacher, through inquiry, through looking at a relevant topic. So choosing sort of a case study that seems like it's relevant to the students and then teaching through that lens.
We have taken a lot of time out of our day to incorporate movement and crew, which is just kind of like a way that we can talk about difficult subjects and have circles. And those things have been really important to us because not only do we know that we are educators, and we're trying to teach what a kid needs to know when they leave this building, but that we also are trying to create a good citizen, a good person when they leave this building. So that's important to us too. And so we do spend a lot of time on making sure that that person is active and wants to move throughout the day and that that person knows how to be kind to others and compassionate to people. 30% of our students are designated as English language learners, which means that they primarily have - that their first language is something other than English, and that they're learning English alongside another language
Because there was a need for the help with our English language learners, I started investigating in Fort Lewis's grad programs and found the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education Program and knew that I could apply some of the things that I would be learning in this class to Silverton School. The hope that I'm hoping to take away even more from this class is to incorporate that cultural piece because I think that a lot of especially kids who are from - are Mexican Americans that come to Silverton, I feel like they also need - they sort of become Americanized. And so the hope is that I can start a cultural class with them as well so that they can feel like they can have some of their culture that they can be a part of, but they can also learn English and include Spanish and really make it more about bilingualism instead of just an English language learner.
My hope is that they first off understand their identity and can sort of know that and can move on with with understanding that, and that's really important because I think that culturally, kids from a different country tend to lose it. So understanding their identity, but then the other thing is I really think that, especially because I teach high school, that hopefully I'm preparing them for whatever is next, college, whatever. Because these kids need to be good readers and writers for college and hopefully that's the next push. Not just the speech, but also understanding how to do a well written paper and read a difficult text and approach it with a growth mindset.