We have a saying at Amistad: “Everyone is a learner, and everyone is a teacher.” It recognizes the reality that everyone at Amistad is learning a second (or third) language, but it also acknowledges that each one of us, whether we’re a teacher or a child or a grandma, has something important to offer to the community. When we all find our place as both learners and teachers, we share in the wonder and curiosity of new endeavors, we are patient with each other even as we guide, and we relish the opportunities that others, the more different from ourselves the better, offer to our own experiences.
Academically, Amistad offers a bilingual, bicultural education of the highest quality for all children. Spanish speakers are able to use the cognitive skills that they’ve developed in their first language as a foundation for their academic work while reinforcing their cultural connections and becoming proficient in English Language. Native English speakers have an opportunity to learn Spanish in the best possible environment: taught by and alongside native Spanish speakers. Both English and Spanish speakers continue their academic development as they become bilingual and biliterate. At Amistad, there is an important place for everyone.
At Seattle Amistad School, we stand on the shoulders of many transformative thinkers and educators who have come before us. From Dr. Luis Moll, who encourages us to access and value the range of gifts that families and children bring to a student’s educational experience, to Virginia Thomas and Wayne Collier, who for decades studied and detailed the “elegance” of a two-way bilingual program, to our beloved Paulo Freire, who reminds us that meaningful education is fundamentally a practice of both freedom and love, our work everyday with children is an effort to put best our best thinking and practices in place.
Among the competing trends in education and reform, often simple truths are lost: that our children must be loved and nurtured in order to learn, that we all need to feel part of a caring community, that learning is joyful, that our children’s keen sense of justice and kindness can reshape tomorrow, that the success of others’ children is critical for the success of our own children, and most importantly, that children can really knock our socks off if we let them. At Amistad, we work to live by these simple truths everyday.
Whether you come for summer camp or for kindergarten, to join the Amistad community is to become part of something special. Our mission, and indeed our greatest joy, is to offer our children a transformative educational experience. It is, by turns, exhilarating, challenging, gray-hair inducing, hilarious, gratifying, creative, and invigorating. Welcome!
Head of School