Friday, September 18, 2009


At Middle School Open House, parents get to come to school and spend a "day in the life" of their kids, wandering through the halls and going to different classes.

It's an opportunity to meet teachers and hear about what they're going to do in the classroom this year.

I was very impressed.

I liked how Mr. Chuhta, Lizzy's science teacher, said that his course doesn't have labs; it is labs and in that way the class is discovery-based. As a teacher, he is a GUIDE so the kids can figure it out themselves and see the real world relevance of science all around them.

Mrs. Cortes, Lizzy's math teacher, also had a wonderful philosophy of teaching math. She said she wants the kids to start with what they know and build upon the foundation they already have. She wants them to do a lot of THINKING. She also focused on translating English to math, as this is the basis of many real world applications of algebra: word problems.

I appreciate that they and other SLS teachers don't view kids as inert vases to be filled with content but as active, breathing participants in the learning process. Indeed, if the teachers are just guides or sherpas, then the kids themselves are forging new, if at times difficult, ground, discovering for themselves what the teachers already know. They will reach the apex, exhilarated in the knowledge that they got there on their own two feet.

When success comes from within, each student will carry with them the belief that they can accomplish anything.

What a powerful life lesson to learn.

Bravo, teachers!

Note: Thank to the person who took the picture featured here.

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