Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Meeting School Means Business!

This posting comes from Moon, a member of our Small Business class...enjoy!

This year faculty member Craig Jensen is teaching a social studies class called Small Business here at The Meeting School. The class functions as a cooperatively run and consensus-based business. Part of the course's curriculum includes deciding on a product to create, market and sell through discussion and consensus.

We finished our first project about three weeks ago. The project acted as a sort of practice run in working collaboratively together and as an opportunity to learn and further develop a craft. The class hand made embroidered name-tags for all of the faculty working for the school. We presented the name-tags as a gift to the faculty during Community Meeting.

The name-tags were very much a collaborative effort, and each member in the class had at least a small part in each of the name tags. Everyone did at least some embroidery - even class members who had little or no experience with a needle and thread. There were many components in the making of the name-tags other than embroidery, including measuring and cutting cloth and sketching out lettering and designs on the cloth in pencil to act as a guide for the embroidery.

The class has started to move forward in the past week with discussions about what we want our business to be. We have started to draft a mission statement and talk seriously about what sorts of products we could make efficiently and well. The class continues to be full of lessons ranging from new crafting skills and cost and profit constraints, to the consequences of late work on the business and developing a sound business plan.

This experience is incredibly valuable. The class emphasizes accountability and a high standard of quality, as the success of our business depends on these factors. Students can use those skills in any situation that life may hand them in the future, even if they do not intend to pursue crafting or small business after the class.

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