Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Meet the Teacher

Last night Kendra and I went to our very first meet the teacher night at Country Lane. We were anxious to "meet" the teacher to say the least, well I was but I'm so easily keyed up by new experiences it's laughable. We got there twenty minutes early and didn't go to the room because we didn't want to interfere.

It's not been the smoothest start to our public school experience, but we are holding out hopes that the hill won't be quite as steep as it's been. It's nothing that the school has done, just the way we, well ok Titus, are adjusting to a school environment and the rules that come.

Mrs. Dunnam is teaching Titus, and has been very impressive. We have been in an almost daily email conversation with her about how we can help improve the adjustments Titus is making in class, at home. After last night I was even MORE impressed with her and saw the passion she had for teaching kids. My love for this school increased exponentially after last night--I'm so please that we live in the area that allows us to go to Country Lane.

One of the most impressive elements of our school is their Expectations curriculum which is being taught school wide. Here is the description of the expectation model, from the Country Lane wed page:

" The Great Expectations® teaching methodology is an eclectic approach to teaching that encompasses the very best of what is known about teaching today. Drawing from many learning theories, teachers do whatever it takes to teach students through an integrated holistic method. Students become self-directed learners, productive citizens, effective communicators, critical thinkers, and cooperative contributors in the classroom as well as society."
The basic tenants of this model, again taught school-wide are:

"All Children Can Learn

Building Self-Esteem

Climate of Mutual Respect

High Expectations

Teacher Attitude and Responsibility

Teacher Knowledge and Skill"

Is it just me, or is this impressive? I'm very impressed with this teaching model. Mrs. Dunnam said that every student will learn eight expectations and be able to recite them, as they will be living them. As a minister, I know that anything I want children to really, honestly, learn must be modeled before it's absorbed, applied, and implemented into their life.

I really can't say I remember my school, South Elementary, being concerned about this--character development. I have good memories of my school and loved it, but just don't remember ever hearing about citizenship and responsibility, etc. I'm so glad that my children will be influence by educators and in an environment in which accountability for actions, attitudes and expectations are clearly in place and modeled by all staff.

Kendra and I are looking forward to being involved with this school and will most likely be neck deep involved before too long, but that energy will not be wasted because I know this school is more concerned about Titus being a good human than it is about a test score. What a relief.