problem solving

Another question Brightworks students face is a distinction between spaces. With the space set up unlike most schools we’re all familiar with, it’s a question worth pursuing with kids young and old.

Shawna’s band and the Hawks have recently begun meeting about the walkway between their two spaces. Since their bandspaces are pushed together, there is a small corridor that leads from the dining room through the Hawk bandspace and into Shawna’s band’s space. Recently, this passageway has been a topic of discussion as both groups navigate communication and differing needs.


Shawna writes that “this is exactly the kind of thing that provides the necessary discourse for building community: this is an opportunity to learn about how to share perspectives and how to receive another’s request. Certainly my group doesn’t want to be seen as disruptors, yet the Hawks are feeling a need to have ownership and agency of their space, certainly a strong Brightworks ethic that we are happy to nurture.

This is an opportunity to have an authentic exchange about respect, intentions, and how to be separate-yet-connected communities whose spaces share a corridor. This is actually a perfect opportunity to work together on a project and create a sense of “ours” in the liminal space between bands: the Hawks plan to put up a curtain to help communicate with us when it is not okay to go through, and they will open it when it is okay (when they are not in their space).”


It’s great to watch the ways in which the collaborators let the kids guide the conversation, with a little help, so that they are able to practice making compromises and working together to create a better Brightworks community.