“Student-Driven Classrooms: Keeping the Faith,” an essay by Middle School Dean Bill Ivey, has been featured on MiddleWeb, a website that aims to support educators and others dedicated to the academic success of students in the middle grades.

In the essay, Ivey brings readers into a middle school Humanities class held during Stoneleigh-Burnham School’s recent Family Weekend, when families of boarding and day students visit campus and attend classes and other activities. Ivey used the Humanities 7 class to kick off a unit on poetry. In his essay, Ivey showed how he balanced lesson planning around in-class writing, reading and analysis with being open and receptive to changing direction based on what emerged from the students. It’s a lesson in putting our trust in students to drive their own learning forward.

The essay was originally published on Stoneleigh-Burnham’s blog, “A View from the Nest.”

Bill Ivey teaches Humanities 7, Social Media, and the Middle and Upper School Rock Bands. Bill is the advisor for MOCA, the middle school student government, and he coordinates and participates in the middle school service program.