Ben struggles through the mathematics. Units, tens, hundreds. Ben tries to understand, grasp and memorise. The golden bead material from the Montessori room and lots of time pave his way into division. His eyes light up when he tells me that he has now understood.
Since 2005, we have been accompanying children and young people on their way to successful graduation. Together with our dedicated team of educators, who actually live their profession, we achieve this and continue to develop. The pitfalls of everyday life have made us strong and strengthened our focus towards personalised, autonomous and sustainable learning. “I want to learn”, “I can do this”.
My founding impulse was to imagine a place of learning and living. A school where children experience a happy, carefree, successful school time and are supported in a variety of ways within an appreciative school culture and where equal, respectful interaction between young and old is lived.
The motivation to follow this founding impulse was strengthened by experience values, gathered in the everyday school life of my children. “Your child can go to class alone from now on.” The first impression is difficult to correct. And at that time, at my sons’ school, a lot of things were not right for me. Politeness in sentence structure, suddenly replaced by the cool lecturing tact.
Where the silent fox and relational distance – “no sense of interest” – dominate the lessons. I wanted to know if there could be such a thing: the right, reformed school for my children. There, where school is perceived as an enrichment of life. For everyone – pupils, teachers and parents. Fear-free learning? A matter of course. Mistakes? Shit happens. Problems and mishaps are part of life. I wanted a place of learning where educators are allowed to be original, to constantly adjust their teaching perspective and rediscover ways of learning. Who enjoy inspiring people and leading them to success. Thinking and acting are guided by emotions: The first two decades lay the foundation for life. Should intelligence tests and the ability to understand the rule of three determine whether a person is smart or stupid? Then the educational path of our children would be a road of life without ups and downs – you there, me here. No, we need to combine trust, care and recognition with aspiration, challenge and constructive criticism. These are learning pillars that really carry the day. That was the all-changing thought: “What if”. Taking responsibility in a self-determined way. A school of our own – multilingual, cosmopolitan: a place for learning and living. Education for a successful life.
My first three years as a founder: no financial subsidies, but loans and some guarantees. From the beautiful dream of “just do it” I arrived in a reality that demanded everything. And yet I made it. With courage, willpower, energy and with the people who believed in me.
There is much to do. A profitable school time and the educational success of the individual children and young people remain the goal. That is what I am committed to. The path to this goal – to a self-determined future – is one that we, my team and I, walk together with the pupils.