We are always learning. Not only is implicit learning offered from minute to minute in our interactions with our students, with parents, and with colleagues, but we also have ample time throughout the year for explicit learning as a community of educators. You might know that the faculty and staff meet weekly in a general school meeting and then in break-out meetings (by department) to discuss upcoming events, engage with the school’s intent, share important updates, and engage in professional development. These meetings include all staff who work at Oak Grove, including maintenance, kitchen, and part- and full-time teachers, because we are all teachers here at Oak Grove.
This year we had year-long initiatives across the school. Our ECP teachers (Preschool – 2nd Grade) have been broadening the integration of documentation. Upper Elementary (Grades 3rd-5th) has been working with Kaitlyn Hornblower, OGS Occupational Therapist, to incorporate useful tools for building strong writing skills for all types of learners. Middle School and High School teachers have been identifying precisely where, when, and how our students grow the competencies identified in our Graduate Profile.
The Admissions and Outreach Teams are exploring how to utilize social media in thoughtful alignment with our ethos as a school, and the Operations and Business Office staff continues to refine internal processes for greater efficiency and transparency. During our June Work Week, the week after school ends, each group will develop an action plan based on these initiatives to be implemented in the next school year, 2023-24.
We also have a robust professional development fund that allows our staff and faculty opportunities to do external training through a myriad of national educator programs and university-sponsored coursework. This year alone, we have funded over 1,200 additional hours of professional development for our employees.
Recently, five of our colleagues shared their experiences visiting our sister school, Brockwood Park, over Spring Break. Oak Grove staff and board members are supported to travel to engage with the international Krishnamurti community with the support of the One School travel fund, which was established by the Krishnamurti Link International (KLI) – a small team of individuals from six countries, including Friedrich Grohe, who share a deep and ongoing interest in Krishnamurti. This past winter, three of us traveled to India with our seniors. In June a few Oak Grove School Board members will visit Brockwood to attend the International Krishnamurti Trustee Meeting. One week later, Laurie Cornell, Director of the Early Childhood Program; Mary Kelley, 6th Grade Teacher; and I will attend a Krishnamurti Gathering in Murren, Bern, Switzerland.
“School is a place of learning and not merely a place for accumulating knowledge. This is really important to understand. As we said, knowledge is necessary and has its own limited place in life. Unfortunately, this limitation has devoured all our lives, and we have no space for learning. We are so occupied with earning our livelihood that it takes all the energy of the mechanism of thought so that we are exhausted at the end of the day and need to be stimulated. We recover from this exhaustion through entertainment – religious or otherwise. This is the life of human beings. Human beings have created a society which demands all their time, all their energies, all their life.”
— J. Krishnamurti, “The Whole Movement of Life is Learning”