2010–2023 Writings
by Michelle Margaret Fajkus

I Never Imagined…

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The word school, he pointed out, comes from skholē, the Greek word for ‘leisure.’ ‘We used to teach people to be free,’ he said. ‘Now we teach them to work.’ — Benjamin Hunnicutt

Lately I’ve been imagining a student who is free to learn whatever and wherever (s)he likes whenever (s) is ready.

I imagine it will be my responsibility to see that this student has ample support and resources and plenty of space to play.

I imagine local and international field trips and multi-aged community projects.

I imagine a self-directed curriculum that combines life lessons with Waldorf, Self-Design, Reggio and Enki principles (and Enlighten-Ed tenets and resources, of course).

I imagine an ongoing course in self-study, including mind, body, spirit and shadow work.

I imagine (s)he grows up to become not merely a professional but a whole, loving version of him or herself.

I imagine (s)he finds freedom in whatever (s)he chooses.

I imagine this student is my child.

And I imagine this child is my teacher.

As a former teacher and woman who didn’t know if she wanted children, I never imagined this is what I would be imagining. Regardless, this is only a vision, my vision. Perhaps the circumstances of our family or society will change. Perhaps my needs will change. Perhaps my child’s imagination will take us to some other place. Who knows, maybe (s)he will ask to go to school. If that is the case, (s)he will be free to go.

Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose – and commit myself to – what is best for me. — Paulo Coehlo

In what ways are you learning to be free? In what ways can we give others freedom in learning? Is it possible to teach freedom? 

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