At Long-View, our days begin not with the ringing of a school bell, but with the resonant hum of a singing bowl. Teachers, learners, and visitors gather around an (unignited) campfire log, and as the sound of the singing bowl fades slowly to silence, we settle ourselves in for a rich day of learning.
This ritual, which we call “Campfire,” is not just circle time or show-and-tell, but an intellectually rigorous start to every day. We begin by greeting each member of the community with the Zulu word Sawubona, which means “I see you.” Each person responds, “Sikhona,” meaning “I am here.” But don’t be mistaken--this is not just a silly way of taking attendance. When our learners say they are here, they mean it in every sense of the phrase. Not only are they physically and intellectually present, but they are here for each other as a community of thinkers and problem-solvers….