Our Classroom’s Venture into Entrepreneurship
by Jarred Geller, Punk Rock Preschool
In our Pre K class, the only standard we try to meet is developing a love of learning, and once we feel this way about knowledge, everything else falls into place.
So how do you get Pre K kids loving learning? Well it doesn’t involve teaching them that pigs go oink and cows go moo. And neither does it involve singing The Wheels on the Bus and The Itsy Bitsy Spider every morning. Pre K kids love learning the same way adults love learning. Respect them. Challenge them. Make it relevant. Make it fun.What do you envision when you think of a Pre K curriculum? Is the day littered with finger painting, nursery rhymes, and clarifying questions regarding what sounds various farm animals make? Some people truly believe that this is Pre K and this is what Pre K should be and must be, but in our class, we don’t subscribe to such fallacies.
And respecting them doesn’t just mean I respect their capacity to learn. I respect their capacity to rock. I don’t know where it was stated that little kids like boring, hardly educational music that drags along and puts you to sleep but its not true. We say that educational music shouldn’t have to be for squares. It should be for trapezoids and parallelograms and whatever other shapes you wish to be. We take the rhymes out of the nursery.
The music started last year when I wrote a song about shapes to help the kids learn more obscure forms like trapezoids and parallelograms. That song has since evolved into an entire catalog of catchy, pop punk music that teaches concepts from world geography to elements of a story to stopping pollution. And because the music rocks, the kids love the process and love the learning. Everything else comes easy.
Already this year we have learned about geography, geology, zoology, pollution, environmentalism, and now we’re diving into our economics and entrepreneurship unit. With the previous units, the class loved seeing how all living things are connected and as such, they were inspired to save the environment. After all, the kids want to live on a clean planet where none of their favorite animals go extinct.
Now that we’re jumping into a more business-focused unit, I knew we had to do something innovative for the kids to find the same meaning and relevance in business as they so easily saw when learning about the environment.
Salaries, bonuses, and incentives started replacing stickers as the currency for doing an excellent job. We printed out monopoly dollars and created our own economy in which learning means earning (helping others , working hard and doing your best always earn you money too!) We’re learning how trade works and how it only happens when both parties are better off.
And if we expect little kids to know how to share, we should definitely expect them to understand the idea of trade, considering they will be trading every day once they have some money. We’re also learning that we can vote with our money and help entrepreneurs that are meeting our demands while leaving the bad entrepreneurs to change their practices or lose their business.
And now we are learning about entrepreneurship, and we’ve learned that entrepreneurs solve problems. So we’re solving a problem no one is talking about:
Educational music is boring.
Our music started as a vehicle to learn difficult material and now we are taking that concept and expanding on it. Big time. We are using our music as a vehicle to become entrepreneurs. And that is how Punk Rock Preschool was born.
Since then, we’ve discussed that if we are going to be entrepreneurs, we are going to be socially conscious. When we outlined our goals, we focused on investing in our community, our world, and ourselves. To that end, the class came up with these five ambitious and admirable goals.
5 Goals Of Punk Rock Preschool
- We Want to Help a lot of People Learn
- Plant a Garden in our Community
- Recycle at our School
- Save the Endangered Species
- Go to California and be Rock Stars
From there we created a YouTube video explaining what Punk Rock Preschool is all about, we launched our website (www.punkrockpreschool.com), and we’ve gone over the ideas of networking, branding, and marketing as a class and now we are putting it all to the test.
I guess the only thing left to do is be entrepreneurs. So today is the big day! We are happy to launch our KickStarter where you can see our first music video all about learning shapes and see the full scale of our class’ entrepreneurial venture.
Our music will always be free, but we hope people will pay what they feel it is worth to them. In this regard, we will use KickStarter to help us learn how value is derived and how effective we are at making educational music rock a little harder. When it comes down to it, it is all about the learning in Punk Rock Preschool and we feel we are on the cusp of making a big difference in not only the lives of the students in our class but in the lives of all Pre K students around the country.
Punk Rock Preschool is a testament to the amazing capacity of young children. We hope that it will be an inspiration that Pre K is capable of learning and doing so much if we just believe in them. When we make learning relevant, rigorous, and fun that’s how passions are developed.
That’s how lives are changed.
Punk Rock Preschool: Our Classroom’s Venture into Entrepreneurship