Going “out and about” into classrooms is the best time of the week. Having the opportunity to watch our teachers and students work together is amazing. Each week I see experiments, true discussions, writing, labs, and the traditional assessments of quizzes and tests. I also have the chance to watch unique projects and watch our kids present themselves at a professional level. Due to this process between our students and teachers, I know our WHS students have the ability to present themselves at the highest possible level - our kids are polished! As I have visited rooms, I have had the chance to do quizlets-live, and seen presentations on iPADs, Macbooks, presentation stations, and even podcasts. Throughout the year, I have seen many interesting lessons that included aspects from the following:
A Personality Test to Help with Collaborative Efforts
A Crazy Walrus Story about Cell Function in Biology
Building of a Camera
Using Organic Compounds for Children’s Names
A Defying Gravity Contest in Physics
And “basic rules” for Calculus.
As part of the 21st Century Consortium of Higher Performing Districts, I just returned from visiting one of our partner schools in Omaha, Nebraska. Part of our visit was to observe classes at Westside High School. As I walked the building, it confirmed my belief that the most important aspect of a quality high school is the teacher and student relationship. Westside and Westlake perform at very high levels even though we have very different daily bell schedules, state standards, and school funding sources. The important thing is what happens from bell to bell with our students and teachers. This is done quite well at Westlake and Westside. This relationship is critical, and I have a few data points that prove we are building strong, positive relationships. The first area is the number of students who spend their lunches with our teachers during their lunch. Our teachers are guaranteed a 30 minute duty free lunch, and I am impressed with how many of our teachers spend their lunch with our kids. This is a truly healthy sign at the high school level. The second area is a change in how we describe time spent in a tutoring setting. Our students now “spend time” with their teachers or “work with their teachers” as opposed to receiving tutoring.
So no more from this famous Economics teacher....
... or from Mr. Vernon!
Steve Ramsey: WHS Principal Blog
Principal's Weekly Reflections