Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Curriculum Night

Last night I went to Grace's 7th grade curriculum night at the middle school.

Sarah has already gone through all of these grades at this building and Grace is in her second year at Walnut Springs, so there was no completely new information to be learned there. But it was good to see the teachers--not all of whom are familiar--and to learn what their plans are for the year.

One of the first things that I enjoy is the simple act of walking to the school from our house. It is on the next street over and you can cut between people's yards to get to the athletic fields on the back end of the school. I will miss having such convenient access to the school when Hannah is finally done. But the (good?) news is that this won't happen for another six . . . what, really? . . . years.Ugh. I'll be almost 50 before Hannah makes it to high school.

And then when I got to the school and started following Grace's classes, I just enjoyed the fantasy of being back in school and learning stuff again.

It's probably not fair to think that way since I am adult now and I can look back on the effort of middle school learning with casualness and a lack of stress. I can see it for the opportunity of learning and thought that it is. I didn't view it so casually and with fun back when I was actually experiencing it. Still, I am glad that I can look at the opportunity of learning with a positive twinge.

And the other thing I enjoyed was hearing teachers talk about the electronic materials that they are using--especially (obviously) in the social studies class. And, yes, they are using an Ohio version of our U.S. history program--a custom creation by the looks of it, but based on the title made by my friends and colleagues just a few cubicle rows over. I am pleased that they are adopting and using the materials that we make here at MHE--and I am hopeful that it is more than simply using the electronic version of the text. I hope they are trying the digital assets and exploring the depth of stuff that we have created in the last several years.

(I wanted to speak up to the teacher and the class and let them know that I work for the company. I wanted to say that if they experience online problems, to send me an email. But I didn't. And that is probably best. The company DOES have tech support professionals--as the teacher mentioned--who can aid when needed. It is their job to clear up those sorts of problems, so I guess I should let them do it better than I could.)

Credit: me

And beyond that, the best thing about the evening was seeing the impressive reimagining of the old library space into a slick new Media Center/hangout/collaborative area/whatever. I posted some pictures of it on my Facebook page if you are over there some.

I mean, look at this space. Wouldn't you want to hang out in there? And yes, there are still plenty of books to check out--which I admit was my initial concern when Grace was describing the place to me. But the design makes the whole place more appealing and encouraging to students. So, I'm a fan.

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