Psychologist Jerome Bruner defined teaching as “the canny art of intellectual temptation.” This statement speaks to the heart of the Shepaug Experience. Our core values highlight what we as a learning community believe to be the essential skills of learning, and we measure them across the disciplines through four outcomes:
- Engaging in the Creative Process
- Solving Problems
- Defending Conclusions & Judgments
- Answering a Call to Citizenship
Gone are the days of students sitting quietly in neat rows, dutifully repeating the information that was given by the teacher. Our classrooms are alive with the sounds of our students thinking aloud, questioning each other, solving problems, exploring phenomena….all occurring in partnership with their teachers. Differing opinions are treated with respectful discourse, insight is supported by evidence. Shepaug is alive with the sound of learning!
Through it all, I never fail to be humbled by the honor that is bestowed upon me as the instructional leader of this school. I am surrounded by caring, intelligent students, and faculty and staff members who never forget the most important fact of all...it’s about the students!
Kim Gallo, Principal
Shepaug Valley School
At its core, formal education is part of an overall process to encourage individuals and societies to reach their highest and greatest good. This means that we, as teachers, must educate the whole child - encourage intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual growth - so that each child has the desire, the capacity, and the confidence to set out on a life-long journey to be explore the world and contribute to it.
Of course, our job as teachers is to share knowledge, support the development of skills, nurture talents, teach students how to question and solve, and promote independence. More importantly, though, our job as teachers is to do each of those things while fostering intellectual curiosity, a sense of adventure, a willingness to take risks, and a desire to leave a mark on the world. All children can contribute to the world in unique and, often, astonishing ways, and it is a significant responsibility to be one of the adults that helps them get there. As teachers, that is our highest and greatest good.