We often describe the studio as belonging to the Voyagers. Each year begins with the learners agreeing to a set of principles that they feel are important for a vibrant community. They agree that the studio will be reverently dedicated to the purpose of learning and self-discovery and we agree to not get in their way. Maria Montessori said, “the greatest sign of success for a teacher…is to be able to say, ‘the children are now working as if I didn’t exist.’"
Once the year is in motion, how do the Voyagers take ownership in the studio? In addition to daily studio maintenance and adhering to the studio contract, they also have systems in place to improve upon their space. One of my favorite tools for them to use is Town Hall. Every Friday morning, from 8:30 to 9:30, the learners come together in the Socratic discussion room and propose their ideas. This time can be spent sharing:
a question or issue and vote on solutions
an idea for something to improve
a possible solution to a problem
something positive they have noticed and would to celebrate
If your child comes home with an issue, a question for them might be, "what tools do you have in the studio to address that?" And just like that, you are guiding them to search for an answer themselves! By empowering your Voyager, they will begin to understand that they can solve their own problems and take ownership over their learning community. To really boost their confidence, try "I trust you to figure this out. I can't wait to hear what you come up with!"
I've included a photo of my own personal Town Hall slip below.