Earlier this week I met a Bixby alumna, D, who graduated from Bixby in 1989. 30 years later, she came back to explore Bixby for her own child! It is always great to meet with alumni and learn about their experience – what has been true about Bixby for decades but also what has changed. D shared her love of math and in particular how math at Bixby taught her why math mattered and how it made sense. “I never had to memorize an algorithm. I simply understood how to approach any math problem because it made sense.” Using the “T tables” D “discovered” multiplication – it was a natural realization grounded in an understanding of patterns and how numbers work. This deep understanding of how math explains our world is still at the heart of how Bixby approaches math today. D also shared that during her time at Bixby students had lots of choice, to the extent that they could choose their schedule on a daily basis! In her case, she would come in early to do math with Bart so that she could spend much of her day reading. Some students exercised that freedom to simply opt out of certain subjects. Today, independence, play and free time continue to be unique and important parts of a Bixby education. What is different is that students are no longer able to self-select out of a subject. Our goal is to ensure that they leave Bixby ready not just for middle school but more importantly that they leave with a strong sense of self-awareness, love of learning and the ability to apply what they know in the real world. While the path to getting there has changed a bit in 30 years, that goal remains the same.
Head of School