By Elizabeth Kolling
When families and kids choose schools, they are often times looking for ones that provide profound education with exemplary teachers and a place where students are allowed to express themselves both creatively and conceptually. Where some schools thrive off of students’ visionary and inventive aptitudes, others can often at times, terminate students’ creative abilities.
Naturally, among other things, this is where Sonoma Academy and other schools differ, as SA not only allows but encourages creativity amongst the teacher and student community. However, in order to experience an environment such as this within a school like Sonoma Academy, one must be willing to sacrifice certain things that, in their eyes, define the common description of high school.
Some of these sacrifices might include the limited social opportunities in regards to the number of students at SA, resulting in the overbearing magnification of student relationships and issues.
An anonymous source said, “Sometimes l get tired of the people here. Don’t get me wrong, I love the people in general, but I feel like I know everyone too well and everyone knows me too well. To say it simply, there is no mystery associated with students.”
Although there are both good and bad things about Sonoma Academy, like any school, one thing that never falters is the relationship between both the teachers and students. At SA, teachers assign projects and homework that compel students to think more abstractly, providing real-life situations that further nourish students’ understanding of not only the topics, but how they relate to the present matters of the world.
Teachers consider their classrooms places where great thinking and inspiration take place, providing environments where students are allowed to speak their minds and contribute to discussions without being alienated or estranged either intellectually or emotionally.
“I feel really comfortable voicing my opinion in my classes and I’m given the opportunity to make assignments my own and be creative with them,” said freshman Hannah Feldman.
Unlike SA, public schools frequently obstruct students’ and teachers’ creative abilities. Students are overwhelmed with the vast amounts of homework, as it is a consumption of their hours and is often busy work. Both students and teachers are confined to their textbooks and worksheet exercises and never go further to discuss the material as it pertains to the world.
Teachers at SA are allowed to construct their own unique syllabus and curriculum, as there are no demanding restrictions that limit teachers’ creativity within the course. Humanities teacher Brandon Spars said, “It makes each course something that each teacher cares very much about.”
Although you might have to sacrifice some of the ‘normal high school experience,’ Sonoma
Academy is a school that makes up for it by creating a community where the aspiration and desire to learn is always present. SA provides numerous opportunities for both students and teachers in a collective quest to achieve higher learning. Even as the some students feel constrained within a small community, they also realize that there is comfort in a smaller group of people and that sometimes, a lack of mystery is a good thing.
An anonymous source said, “All in all, I enjoy getting up every morning and going to school here. I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else.”