This afternoon I had the opportunity to observe in a pre-AP high school english class. It is the first time I’ve set foot in a HS class since 1988 (wow!). Some things are the same, but most are drastically different in a good way. Desks still face forward, but instead of the traditional rectangle with the wire rack under the chair that I remember, they are more trapezoid in shape so they can be angled in small groups. Laptops on every desk for work on an essay they had started earlier this week synthesizing the books they had read over the summer. TV screen in corner.
Great discussion about books for an upcoming free choice essay project. It made me want to read some off the choice list that I haven’t read. Really engaged in hearing the little snippets the teacher had to say about each book as well as respectful listening to their peers discuss the ones they had read already.
This HS team has their act together. A plan for the year’s discussions with everyone in the building serving on literacy teams that meet monthly. Weekly late arrival has provided the staff the opportunity to plan across subjects and to coordinate services for students in a very impressive manner.
What a lucky woman I am to have the opportunity to see in person all the great things going on in my district, not just the inside of my own classroom or building.