Slice of Life: On the other side of the fence

(This is part of the Slice of Life project)

I found myself on the other side of the fence last night. I was in a room with other parents, listening to teachers and administers at the middle school talk about the program. Next year, our oldest moves from the small elementary school to the larger middle school and it was informational night. I could not help reading into what the presenters were saying (I surely hope Language Arts is NOT just about grammar and mechanics, which is the message that I got) and comparing their sixth grade curriculum to our sixth grade curriculum. Why does that competitive streak come out? (Note: our report card, which is in the midst of transition as we speak, is far better than the sample report card they gave us last night, which said so little about learning that I wonder if it worth the paper it is printed on but they run a before-school Open Gym program and an after-school enrichment program that I wish our school had available).

What I loved is that they have exploratory blocks, so all kids get six weeks of Spanish and French, technology (engineering class), computers and more. I love the team concept that breaks the 200-plus kids into smaller teams where they can create an identity. I thought the message from the principal and counselors was right on – very child-centered. So, I was not disappointed overall, but excited for my son and the year ahead.

And wondering, where did all those years go?

Peace (in moving up),

  1. I think this could be a great chance to open the door here for some WP PD and more. What do you think? You have a lot of share and I bet you will be very diplomatic.

    Should be talk about our coming collaboration?

  2. Good morning Kevin
    I think you will appreciate the upcoming PLC work unveiling soon (unfortunately most of your PLC will mean yourself this time around – again?) We are creating a graphic illustration of the reading and writing elements as they build and change from PrK through Grade 6 at Norris. A nod to 7 & 8 will be included as things don’t end with you in Gr 6.
    I’m rather excited about this work as we will have an interactive timeline of a student’s career with us and what the reading and writing (dare we say ELA) for each level will look like. We want to add some links to the online version so we can provide clearer explanations of each element. One goal is to have it on the Norris web page so it is available when parents ask, “When will Betsy learn to read?” Listening and speaking are huge parts, often neglected in the focus on the other areas but it is through our listening (building of a knowledge base) and speaking (sharing that knowledge) that the other elements work to their fullest.
    Gail P

  3. While I don’t often have a good idea of what elementary teachers on this site talk about, but I could relate to the idea of children growing, time passing while we’re busy doing doing doing. Time has stopped for me this grandmother week–I see my children in their children, and notice how my six-year-old granddaughter’s hands were just like her mother’s at that age. It feels like a loss when they grow, I know, but it comes back in sweet bits and pieces at a later time.

    I sound just like a grandma, don’t I. I don’t feel that old, but seem to have arrived here just as your son will move on up as well. Same concept, different generation.


    • Thanks, Elizabeth, for the perspective from yet another side of the fence.
      I don’t feel quite at a loss, more in amazement, if you know what I mean.

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