Eagle Rock’s 2015/2016 Public Allies Fellows ‘Take Flight’ at Summer’s End

Our 2015/2016 Public Allies fellows depart our mountainside campus at the end of this week after spending a year teaching, learning and being an enormous part of the Eagle Rock family.

This latest cohort of fellows joins an impressive 150 Public Allies Fellows who have completed the program here at Eagle Rock. In fact, our program is among the most successful in the nation, scoring in the high 90th percentile. You can learn about this group at their arrival on campus last September by reading 2015/2016 Public Allies Fellows Arrive On Campus.

Public-Allies-Fellows-Eagle-Rock-201516

Meanwhile, here’s what our “graduating” fellows have planned for their immediate future:

Ally Bolger, Science Teaching Fellow: After Eagle Rock, Ally is moving to Colorado Springs where she will be teaching high school biology and chemistry at CIVA Charter High School. She is excited for the opportunity to apply all she has learned about alternative education, engaging teaching strategies, and building supportive relationships with students. In her free time, Ally is also excited to spend more time outside and explore her new surroundings. And since she’s very familiar with the 2.5-hour drive back to Eagle Rock, we’re looking forward to many return visits.

Aranda Salazar, Residential Life Fellow: Aranda will be sticking around Colorado after her year with us, pursuing whatever her heart desires. During her time at Eagle Rock she was better able to see that she values working directly with people, being a part of a team, and feeling valued as an employee. She hopes to find these qualities in future work places. And in her continued pursuit for happiness, she plans to spend more time with Continue reading…

Reporting on Another Successful Explore Week

The effects of our most recent Explore Week — that staple of the Eagle Rock School experience whereby our students have the opportunity to learn about careers, hobbies, art, music, physical pursuits and other offerings that may not necessarily fit into the daily academic curriculum — are now being felt here on campus.

The latest installment of this thrice-annual event took place June 20-24 with students vying for learning experiences related to earthen building, canoeing through Canyonlands National Park, music, poetry, beauty and hair care.

Eagle Rock School Explore Week

In addition to a few of our own instructional specialists, Explore Week offers experiences presented by instructors from the community and as you’ll see below, Eagle Rock School alumni — all highly experienced in what they do.

Here’s a short recap of courses and instructors from our most recent Explore Week:

For those musically inclined students with an interest in turning their words into lyrics, the Songwriting, Stories, and Live Performance course was the perfect opportunity to complete songs that they might have started writing and put aside or put time into new materials that they wanted to turn into song. The course included a lot of interaction, discussions, writing activities — all capped by live musical performances by the students, completed individually and sometimes collaboratively.

About the instructors — Eric Ian Farmer, Ph.D and Juan Torres: Farmer is no stranger to Eagle Rock. He served as an intern from the fall of 1999 through the summer of 2000, and was an Eagle Rock School instructional specialist from the fall of 2005 through the summer of 2008. Torres studied music at the VanderCook College of Music in Chicago and now plays with the Estes Park Jazz Big Band and teaches concert, jazz, and marching percussion at schools in the Estes Park School District.

Led by a pair of street poets, Poetry of Initiation: From Pain to Purpose was best described as a writing and performance course fueled by the Continue reading…

Music Politics Class: Tuning in With a Questioning Ear

Music is never just about beats and lyrics. Among other things, it is about understanding the values, prejudices and fantasies of our culture.

I love music because it is a vehicle for engaging with identity, history, politics, economics, geography, technology and literature through a creative and accessible outlet. It draws you in, fills you with emotion, and transports you — all the while expressing the deep cultural contradictions and philosophies that surround us.

This is what I hoped to bring to the students in my Music Politics class. At Eagle Rock, music is never hard to find; from daily community gatherings in the hearth to iPhone speakers on a picnic table at lunch, students are constantly performing and listening.

music politics class at eagle rock school

But how often do we actively listen, picking apart the music that we take for granted? My thinking was that we should have an academic space to analyze, interpret, argue, and express our musical preferences to one another. I knew I had much to learn from our students about their connections to music.

In Music Politics, students listen, analyze and discuss songs, thinking critically about Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Radio Makes Waves During Explore Week

In the midst of each trimester here at Eagle Rock School, students break from their normal classes to engage in Explore Week, a weeklong exploration of new and diverse subject areas.

It’s a time when visiting educators from across the country descend upon our mountainside campus, bringing with them expertise in everything from holistic medicine to theater production to entrepreneurship.

During the most recent Explore Week this past February, some of our students had an exciting opportunity to learn the basics of radio production. Taught by Lisa Morehouse, an award-winning public radio journalist from the San Francisco Bay Area, a half dozen students explored how to record, edit and publish audio pieces.

Eagle Rock School Radio

In addition to the technological aspects of producing radio programming, the students analyzed pieces from SoundsLA, StoryCorps and Lisa’s own pieces on California Foodways to identify different styles of radio. Students also dissected specific sounds or tools that each piece used, such as Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Staffers Look Back on their Favorite Education-themed Films

For many people, a good movie provides the perspective of being an outsider looking in, adding new insight to a particular issue or event. For others, it’s just an opportunity to sit back and enjoy something entertaining.

Film-Reel

Regardless, movies are a valuable art form that can be used to educate, inspire and demand change. In the spirit of celebrating all that cinema has to offer, Eagle Rock staff members recently reflected on their favorite education-themed movies.

Here are their thoughts on the cinema in education:

Film: Once – Directed by John Carney
Commentary by: Jen Frickey, Director of Curriculum

The film musical Once follows a vacuum repairman who spends his evenings busking on the street by playing guitar and singing. A Czech immigrant comes across this musician and asks him if he can repair her broken vacuum. The woman is also a songwriter but spends most her time performing odd jobs and taking care of her mother and daughter.

As the pair gets to know each other, the Czech girl agrees to help the part-time street musician as he writes and records a demo tape in hopes of landing a music contract. The two learn about each other’s past lovers and profess their newly found love for each other — all through the songs they’re writing.

While not a typical ‘education movie’ about teaching and learning, Once is a beautiful story of how common interests and passion can bring people together and create amazing results. It reminds me of how important it is that we Continue reading…