Humans are born needing connection. We cannot thrive without relationships and the encouragement and accountability they bring. Humans have family units and close circles of friendship. We seek community in order to learn, grow, share our joys, and be sustained in hard times. So why then do we send our young into huge institutions to sink or swim, fend for themselves, and figure things out?
Small schools are very counter-cultural in today’s society — a society where bigger is better! And bigger can be better when economy of scale matters. However, when it comes to relationships, connection, people, and emotions, bigger can be overwhelming, cold, imprecise, and ineffective.
To be loved and not known is comforting, but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. To be loved and known is what we all want more than anything. [Tim Keller] What small schools lack in options, they make up for through connection and that connection allows big things to happen.
In a small, healthy environment, a student can be both loved and known — an incredible environment for them to safely face the inevitable challenges, joys, and struggles of growing up.
Imagine a school where children (even teenagers!)
see all their teachers as allies.
Imagine a school where children have the same teachers for consecutive years so they truly get to know one another.
Imagine a school where the teachers know each child’s writing style so well they can spot it as soon as they read it.
Imagine a school where assignments are tailored to the personalities and passions of the group so that necessary skills can be developed in a context where the students *like* the work (even teenagers!).
Imagine a school where the students follow the vast majority of rules because the rules make sense to them because they’ve had a say in creating them.
All of this is possible in a small school.
When students like their teachers and feel liked by them…
When faculty aren’t so overwhelmed that their calling becomes their burden…
When daily work isn’t dictated by politicians in offices far away…
When everyone has to get through problems and frustrations together…
When the whole community knows each other and shares similar values…
When children (yes, even teenagers) feel known AND loved…
That’s when magic happens.
That’s when learning happens.
That’s when growth happens.
Small schools have a big influence. I encourage you to explore The Fulton School. We're small by design, making a BIG difference in the lives of each student.