House Parents Describe Their Eagle Rock Student Housing Experiences

At first glance, the job of being a house parent for a group of six teen-aged boys and an equal number of teen-aged girls could be a tall order. And as challenging as it is to properly support a dozen students on a daily and nightly basis, imagine a house full of young adults when it comes to being engaged in their own education and living community.

Three of our six house parents recently wrapped up their first trimester in this critical on-campus role. And, not unexpectedly, our administrators again proved to be really good at selecting the best staff members to serve as house parents. We’re also experts at preparing and supporting those house honchos for what the job entails, but some things — as you’ll read below — can only be learned while performing the job itself.

That being said, no one can describe the house parent experience as well as these fresh adult leaders. We’ve asked the three newbies to reflect on what those experiences meant to them personally. But first, a little background on our on-campus Living Village, which is made up of six houses — each designed to accommodate up to 12 students in two separate sleeping areas. Continue reading…

Doing Nothing on Thanksgiving is Not an Option at Eagle Rock School

One thing you can’t say about Thanksgiving at Eagle Rock School is that there’s nothing to do. This is one of those times of the year when students, staff and instructors are in accord that this mountainside campus of ours is indeed a great place to spend late-November holidays.

And, much like the name of the holiday, there’s plenty of gratitude to go around as our community prepares for literally dozens of events and activities over a four-day period. It’s a time when we all gather together to celebrate how fortunate we are to live in the Rocky Mountains surrounded by forests that a lot of us like to call home.

Thanksgiving Day 'Gathering' at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center

Thanksgiving Day ‘Gathering’ at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center

Thanksgiving at Eagle Rock is about celebrating the importance of having each other and remembering that we are all here to better ourselves. It’s a time to appreciate what we’ve done to improve ourselves and what we’ve done to help others. It’s a celebration of how we have impacted each other’s lives in a positive way and to celebrate those successes.

Whether we’re indoors creating art or standing outside in the cold playing touch football, the idea is to spend time together.

The highlight of the holiday, of course, is today’s Thanksgiving Day dinner at 3pm, skillfully prepared by Continue reading…

This ‘Language Class’ Offers More Than Just a Brush Up on Spanish

Five Eagle Rock students are well into a 10-week class that is enabling them to explore their own identities through the lens of political views, human stories and the visible and invisible walls that individuals and nations construct between themselves.

Called Borders & Identity, this class places learning to speak and write Spanish as an objective, with the goal of actively helping build bridges between people and communities as its primary goal. Tied into this class is the concept of “Enduring Understanding,” which is a guiding idea for each of our classes. Also referred to as our “10-year Takeaway,” Enduring Understanding asks us to consider what it is students will remember about this class and their learning in 10 years.

Getting Hands-on with Identity

In order for this class to be truly effective, the students needed to understand that changing the dominant narrative of immigration requires hearing directly from — and taking action with — those affected by our own country’s immigration history and policy. With that in mind, the first five weeks of class saw students diving into the world of migration and identity, creating their own informed perspectives through video and fieldwork, while learning ways to communicate in Spanish through dialogue and poetry.

Eagle Rock School Bordrs and Indentity Class

Student involvement was immediate, with a visit to the El Movimiento Exhibit at the Michener Library on the University of Northern Colorado campus in Greely on the second day of class. There they met to discuss the Chicanx movement in that part of the state with Dr. Priscilla Falcon, the head of the university’s Hispanic Studies Program.

They also visited the Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Students Take Ethnic Studies to the Streets

Last trimester, a group of seven students participated in Borders Fronteras — an Eagle Rock School class that afforded students the opportunity to explore their own identities through the lens of the U.S.-Mexico border and the very personal human stories from the line between us.

The students prepared for this work through the timeless Mayan precept of In Lak’ech, which is affiliated with the Mayan definition of the human being — known as huinik’lil or vibrant being, which claims we are all part of the same universal vibration. This was the origin of the recitation, excerpted from Luis Valdez’ epic poem, Pensamiento Serpentino (see below):

Borders Fronteras Class at Eagle Rock School

Students discovered that In Lak’ech was a major component of the Tucson Mexican-American Studies programs serving six Arizona high schools from in 1998 to 2010 — an ethnic studies offering that was subsequently banned from all of Tucson’s kindergarten through 12th grade schools under the Continue reading…

Meet The Team: Josán Perales, Eagle Rock’s World Languages Instructional Specialist

It’s true that Josán Perales — our team member in the spotlight this month — was born in Zaragosa, Spain, the child of parents of Spanish and Puerto Rican descent. However, Josan spent most of his formative years in New Mexico.

So when asked about his heritage, he quips that he’s probably New Mexican. Or New Mexirican to encompass his American heritage. Or New Mexiricanol to also incorporate his Spanish birth.

josan-perales-eagle-rock-school

Whatever his nationality, at points in his life, Josan has hung his hat in Spain, Britain, California, and, of course, New Mexico. Now he’s our world languages instructional specialist and a Colorado resident. We asked this world citizen to tell us a little about his life and his thoughts about Eagle Rock School:

Eagle Rock: Where did you go to college and what was your major?

Josan Perales: I graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Ore., in 2002, earning my Bachelor of Arts and majoring in Continue reading…