We are writing as we create our curriculum for next year. Liz and I are team-teaching the 7th grade, starting with the Fall of Rome and ending sometime after the discovery and populating of the New World. One of our themes, as we discovered at lunch today, is “what is the value of education?” Many of our students, as students everywhere can be, are cynical about their education, often take it for granted, and do their best to avoid work, and to derail the class from real work, even in the 7th grade. So our summer reading will be Warriors Don’t Cry and the teens version of Three Cups of Tea. A discussion of what education is, why it’s important, why people without it fight to get it, and how our own school began. Chinquapin was started by an idealistic couple who believed that inner city youth were just as capable as middle class youth, and were just not often given the opportunity to learn. So Bob and Maxine Moore began Chinquapin for inner city boys as a boarding school. It expanded under the leadership of Bill and Cathy Heinzerling to include girls (who do not board). Now under the leadership of Ray Griffin, we are working to bring our curriculum and teaching in to the 21st century. To that end, Liz and I are team-teaching and integrating our curriculum. She is teaching English, language arts and history, and I am teaching science, math and skills and health. As we create this, we will write about our triumphs, our trials, our process. This blog will slowly take shape over the next few months.