Having teachers and students team up to solve school problems is having a positive effect on keeping kids engaged with academics and each other.

Teachers and Students Team Up to Solve School ProblemsAt the end of the day, a group of boys at Expeditionary Learning Middle School in Syracuse huddles around school counselor G.G., whose nickname is short forBrian Gibbs-Griffith.

The boys are quiet.  One apologizes to another for losing a gym shirt. Another says to G.G. “I want to apologize for letting you down.”

Another apologizes to G.G. for letting his grades slip.

“You didn’t let me down. You let yourself down,” G.G. says. “You think I can’t relate to grades being down? That’s my story. Who here has made a mistake? Raise your hand.”

As the hands went up, the loudspeaker announced dismissal time, but the boys stayed in their circle. .

“This is a life skill,” said G.G. “Relationships are maintained because people have acceptance or forgiveness. This is a beautiful thing.”

Every child ends their school day at ELMS with a small group, known as a “crew” coming together with a leader. Crews make ELMS different, as they are split by gender and developed to learn character, and bond with each other and an adult. The type of learning is called expeditionary learning, and it emphasizes real projects, student questions, and engaging kids.

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