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Our Staff

Alex Upham, Advisor

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Alex, working at Little Lake since 2010

Hi, my name is Alex Upham. I’ve been an advisor with the Little Lake Learning Community for seven years. I first became interested in democratic and free education when I met one of the smartest 6-year-olds I’d ever encountered. She had been unschooled and opened my eyes to what children are capable of when given the freedom to explore and the resources to dig deep into their passions. In my time at Little Lake I have learned more and more about what freedom in education means. It refers not just to an effective pedagogy, wherein people are able to learn at their own pace what interests them. It is also a liberating experience, something children are often restricted from out of a lack of trust or even a genuine fear for their best interests. What I’ve come to understand is that children have their best interests in mind so long as they are free to discover those interests. Our learning community has been a transformative space for children and adults alike, and I continue to learn a lot from and with our students.

Alex (Momo) Husted, Advisor

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Momo, working at Little Lake since 2011

I’ve been interested in free schools ever since I had the opportunity to attend one myself in high school. I grew up attending public school in Saline, MI and like many people, struggled within the institutionalized framework. Worksheets, tests and other busywork just felt like regurgitating information to prove to someone else that I had memorized the information that they wanted me to.  On paper, I ended up performing poorly because while I scored well on tests, I rarely did the other required work for the grade. By sophomore year of high school, I often opted to skip my classes entirely and It became clear if I didn’t find something that would work, I wouldn’t be graduating.

I heard about a weird, alternative school that would allegedly give me more autonomy over my education and hesitantly decided to enroll. At first, I experienced a period of “deschooling” where I chose to do very little with my time at school besides get to know folks and acclimate to the new community that I had just stepped into, but I slipped pretty organically into using my time to pursue my interests individually as well as in classes I elected to participate in. Academically, it would not be hard to argue that I learned more than I would have had I stayed in a standardized curriculum, but more importantly, I learned how to learn and how to engage in (and be accountable to) a greater community that I cared about.

I work at LLLC because I want to give other people that experience of learning and community. I’m excited to provide a place where students are given the space to be self-directed, engage with learning in a way that excites them, and have their educational choices respected

 

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