Come funziona la scuola di Nancie Atwell, premiata come migliore insegnante: il Center for Teaching and Learnin, Maine
Posted on 17 Marzo 2015 by Andrea Sola
The Center for Teaching and Learning is a K-8 independent demonstration school. Founded in 1990 by educator Nancie Atwell and certified by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, CTL has 501(c)(3) non-profit status, serves a population of approximately 75 students, and draws from over twenty towns and villages to create a loving, close-knit community of midcoast families who are committed to excellence in education.
The school is known locally and nationally for its award-winning teaching, research-based methods, outreach to teachers across the United States, relationships of trust between faculty and parents, respect for children, and program that engages students, challenges them, and prepares them for life beyond CTL.
Our graduates include eight high school valedictorians and salutatorians. They excel at local secondary schools as well as Cheverus, Catherine McAuley, Waynflete, the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, North Yarmouth Academy, Phillips Andover, Phillips Exeter, Putney, St. Paul’s, Walnut Hill, and High Mowing. So far, 97% of CTL alums have matriculated to colleges and universities, including Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Carleton, Colby, Cornell, Dartmouth, George Washington University, Hamilton, Harvard, Haverford, Kenyon, McGill, Mount Holyoke, Middlebury, RPI, Stanford, Tufts, University of Chicago, and UMO’s Honors Program.
Why are CTL Graduates So Successful?
- small class sizes (16-18 students, with just 8-9 in kindergarten)
- an outstanding faculty of dedicated professionals whose every decision is based on knowledge of and love for their students
- a bright, inviting, art-filled environment
- a community where every child is known, accepted, and respected—where the social rule “You can’t say you can’t play” prevents bullying and exclusion
- a full-day kindergarten program focused on helping children feel secure and competent as they learn the essentials of writing, reading, and math and bond with a teacher and classmates
- smooth transitions between grades and teachers, thanks to a faculty that’s on the same page about methods for teaching and being with children
- never a raised voice or standardized test
- a student population that represents many levels of ability and socioeconomic backgrounds
affordable tuition that’s one-third the rate of comparable Maine independent schools, with generous tuition assistance
- a library in every room, tens of thousands of books for students to choose among, time to read them every day, and smart, individualized instruction that results in both high proficiency and a passion for books and reading
- a research-based math program that gives CTL graduates a head start in high school, plus an award-winning Mathcounts team
- a five-year spiral curriculum in science and history in which all students, grades K-8, engage together as researchers of paired concepts: ancient civilizations (Egypt, Greece, Rome, medieval Europe, and the Renaissance) and systems (weather, human biology, and astronomy); making a nation and water; 19th century America andgeology/paleontology; immigration and the first half of the 20th century and energy and invention; and who we are today and woods and wildlife
- a science lab and hands-on learning in science and history: field trips, guest experts, experiments, project-based research, collaborations with regional environmental agencies and institutions, participation in the Maine Model United Nations Program, and explorations in the arts
- daily writing workshops in which students develop their own topics, write in many genres, confer with their teachers about drafts in progress, communicate their ideas to others, and achieve recognition for writing excellence
- an exemplary art program taught by the acclaimed illustrator-artist Mary Beth Owens with frequently-changing displays of children’s work
- weekly music classes in grades K-4 taught by musician Kaity Newell; drama in grades 5-8 directed by Pam Brackett; and superb performances and productions
- twice-weekly physical education on the field and in the gym
- a school literary magazine
- daily, whole-school morning meetings that create a community as children and teachers chat about current events and natural phenomena, celebrate birthdays, sing, read poems, and laugh together
- multicultural studies and celebrations throughout the school year that recognize the diversity within CTL’s student body—and of the U.S. as a whole
- a commitment to community service, especially the Lincoln County animal shelter and Boothbay food pantry
- kid-friendly traditions and rituals that create a love of school and a sense of belonging
- daily recess, a well-equipped playground, and woods with a nature trail