Each day at The Circle School begins with a community ritual of oral story-telling.
The entire school -- children from PreK-8th grade, teachers, staff, and many parents too -- sits in a circle on the floor and listens to a teacher share a folk wisdom story from cultures around the world. The teacher tells the same story each morning for a week, until the students begin to help tell the story themselves. The teacher calls on students to suggest their own answers to parts of the story, drawing upon their creativity, cultivating their confidence, making them storytellers too.
We select stories to teach peace, empathy, open-mindedness, and social justice, carrying each week's wisdom lessons into the curriculum and classes for that week. Community Circle is also a space to practice engaged listening, giving the speaker the respect of our attention, and sets the tone for the day.