Who is Areté?
If you’re a curious parent like me – or a student looking for an awesome school or an educator inquiring about fresh new educational models, you may be wondering what fabulous things are cooking over at this relatively young independent micro school on the Westside of Los Angeles.
My kid just started as a high school freshman and is loving it. But truth be told, he gives me jack in details of his days at school. So, of course, I find myself wishing to be a fly on the wall – or a bird on the window ledge – listening and watching what conspires during the school day to make him so happy and engaged. Yes, the bird analogy is much better. The mama bird following junior bird out of the nest when she should be focused on her own tasks, like being the early bird to get the worm or something like that! Sheesh.
And hence, this interview series. So we can all breathe and get to know the people at Areté – the students, teachers, staff, and alumni – that make this community as wonderful as it is. Enjoy!
Nicole Schubert, Areté Parent
How did your education make your life better?
I had a horrible experience at every school before Areté. The worst was middle school. This had to do with the way public schools were overcrowded and underfunded, as well as all the tests and not having relationships with teachers and always being disciplined.
I was always a very curious person, and I loved learning but I can’t remember learning much of anything in those kinds of environments. Many curious but unconventional learners end up thriving at Areté.
How are you different now from a few years ago? I am different now than I was before. It started at Areté because I learned to question things and not to believe everything that I think, hear, see, etc. Areté taught me that “why” or “how” should be the first things said when you have new ideas. I also learned how to respectfully debate a topic with someone who does not agree with me and the fact that a debate is not about winning but about educating.
How does your education make your life better? I love learning. My mind is constantly soaking in everything possible. I’m always trying to integrate the material. Learning about various schools of thought helps me understand and organize the information. I like the education at Areté because they emphasized learning about different philosophical perspectives especially in the great ideas classes. I really liked being asked about my points of view in the process as well as learning how my peers incorporated their own views as well. I feel I’ve made friends at school and discussing these issues with them in class allowed me to appreciate them in more depth.