Colossal Academy grew out of the 3 main intersections of frustration and dissatisfaction. I was frustrated as a mother with not seeing the education that I wanted my children to experience reflected in anything around me. I was frustrated with my own education and how I did not “fit” into the education model I was given as a child. I was frustrated with making compromises in my own vocation and trade as an educator and teacher.
Prior to creating and developing Colossal Academy, I had to make compromises as a teacher and educator. One of my main frustrations as a teacher was the sizes of my classes and student body. I, personally, love richer connection with students that really allows me to be the conduit to help them find the tools they ultimately need for their own successes– however they may define them. One major frustration, even at smaller private schools, was that the demand for 100+ students disconnected me from my passion which is to ultimately be an educational sanctuary whereby learning can blossom.
Schools are a reflection and microcosm of society as a whole. The same ills and successes found in society are found in the classroom. One major frustration was that conflict was rarely resolved in a meaningful way because of time pressures as well as the pressures to serve other students. Students were not given the proper time and tools to resolve conflict whereby all parties felt respected. In addition to conflicts in the classroom and school, I found that the curriculum was often sexist and euro-centric leaving out my passion for inclusivity and world views. I also felt pressure to achieve a certain level of measurable success, often measured by a standardized test.
As a mother, I often felt frustrated with how quickly my children were swept to the side and genuine disheartened by the progress (or lack thereof) of my own children. Every once in and awhile one of my three children would get a wonderful teacher that they truly connected with and then they had to move on. I felt frustrated by having to undo the common narrative found in the curriculum that did not reflect the faces or characters of my own children. I dreaded homework more than they did and grew angry with meaningless tasks like worksheets that would later be tossed into the recycle bin or never graded. I often asked myself, “Is this the best education that I can offer my children?”.
Through all of that, I had a clear vision of what I wanted to build for my own children and for the learning environment I crave to work in. And that is the “Goldilock Conditions” that, ultimately manifested into Colossal Academy as a meaningful and fulfilling place of learning and growth