|A comfy, open classroom|
She has a long list of things that she plans to learn this year: learn to drive, play guitar, take voice lessons, work on her futuristic novel, and record interviews for a project on human empathy. She’s also continuing to accrue high school & college credits to work towards a GED. “You can’t live without learning something,” she continued. “Everything is learning. Here, we’re not discriminating against different types of learning, of intelligence. ALPHA is a learning community—students and teachers alike learn from each other.”
Monica, one of the mentors, echoed the sense of community and of democratic exchange between adult mentors and adolescent students. She worked in healing through the arts before she decided to teach. After completing her degree she began working in alternative schools, but, as she laughed, “not alternative enough.” Like me, she always felt uncomfortable evaluating students, and after seeing how deep need wasn’t taken into account by “schooling:” how unhappiness, stress, and mental health were issues exacerbated by the school system, she planned to leave teaching. Instead, she found ALPHA II.
|Inclusive and safe-space messaging adorned the walls|
Thank you, ALPHA II!