The following is one of the many new observations and thoughts from Whitney Slade on the impactful way our teachers educate students throughout our school:



“The higher up the educational ladder you rise, the longer the lectures become. At Rivebend, walk into Children’s House and you will not hear a lecture. For that matter, walk into any Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, or Middle School classroom and you will not hear a lecture. While lecturing has long been one of the staple vehicles of delivering information, it is not the most effective. As a young teacher I lectured to my students. I prided myself on crafting a lecture that was designed to keep the attention of my students. Upon reflection, my lectures were probably not that riveting. What middle school student listens to a lecture for more than ten minutes?


In college, I filled a notebook in a Western Civilization course. The information was imparted in a lecture two times per week. There was no chance to manipulate the information in a class discussion. It was a one way delivery.


In graduate school I listened to one of the leading scholars lecture on the latest in brain science and how these discoveries impact a student’s learning. He did not practice what he preached.


Flash forward to a typical Riverbend classroom. That absence of the lecture is deliberate. Children are expected to engage with the material. Pace is dictated by the learner. Understanding is arrived at by the synergy between student and teacher. The result is a purposeful outcome because there is a consistent two-way exchange between child and adult. No lectures needed!”

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