My Life School

My Lifers

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Senior High School Student

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                              My Life School is a schooling experience inside a traditional high school.  My Life School has incredibly

                                  high expectations for students finding their passion, understanding and mastering curriculum goals,

                                  and creating projects that bridge their personal passion with core curriculum.  Typically, learning is

                                   measured by a change in student behavior (i.e. improved performance). Teachers ask questions

                                   about the content they just taught in a way that generally requires only one right answer. Today’s

                                 students need new skills to become worldwide citizens because they will live their entire lives

                               navigating an increasing complex landscape. My Life School was designed to help students learn to be

                             creative and have an entrepreneurial spirit.


Several students were nominated to participate in this new schooling process based on their creative personality traits and dispositions. Teachers were allowed to take a principled risk by providing students with a large amount of autonomy in deciding what and how to go about accomplishing their work. They explained and helped our students understand the constraints between novelty (new ideas) and utility (appropriateness to the task at hand) (Runco, 2004).  Students were initially asked to think about creativity in their lives and learn for the purpose of being prepared for life rather than for the sole purpose of test taking.  


Teachers required students to first practice completing a simple project that required creative ideation. Once students came to grips with the shift in their learning, they began imaging a number of possibilities. Some students wanted to become social entrepreneurs and create new opportunities for student gatherings with the purpose of giving back to their schools and community. Others wanted to become small business entrepreneurs by designing new ways for increasing commerce and adding capital to the student body fund. Three students decided to build a skateboard park. My Lifer’s, to the surprise of some teachers, took full responsibility for bridging their personal passions with prescribed learning goals.


Most students shifted their view on the role of the teacher. Teachers were viewed as a resource even if they were unable to coach students because of their lack of knowledge in domain specific areas. The coaches who were unfamiliar with skateboard parks asked mentors in the local and larger community for help. Community mentors provided relevant feedback and students’ ideas became more clear and creative with additional feedback opportunities. Students were positively stimulated and their desire to solve problems became more interesting, involving, and personally challenging. Students reported that by integrating their passions with course curriculum and making their learning visible, they were more intrinsically motivated to persevere through challenging work.




Return to Laton Unified School District

Where We Have Been & Where We Are Going

Larry Audet, Superintendent