Saturday, May 27, 2006

Small schools malaise

Somehow I have the feeling that academics isn't high up on the agenda of this new small school, despite its lip service. This is a pattern with a lot of these new small schools. Their motto should be: Anything but academics.

The Green School is a New Century High School opening in September 2006 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City.

Our mission is to foster community values in sustainability; specifically self, relationships, community and society, while preparing students for Regents exams, college and careers.

Our School themes: Sustainability • Real-World Learning • Student Voice • Careers that Make a Difference

Strong applicants for a teaching position will demonstrate the following abilities to: • Link subject area curricula to the school’s themes and incorporate discussion of current events, hands-on experiences in the community, and meaningful connection to students’ interests and lives. • Create project-based curricula and use performance-based assessment. • Use inquiry-based approach to teach interdisciplinary classes. • Teach an advisory class that includes community building, identity development, reflective writing, and interest exploration. • Work collaboratively with other teachers to design curricula and assessments, and to support each other in improving teaching practices. • Involve students in decision making about topics of classes and electives, and support students in independent projects. • Work to develop internship opportunities for students around the theme of sustainability. • Design and teach curricula to heterogeneous classes including English language learners, special needs students, and accelerated students, together. • Will participate in developing and implementing new ideas into the school or “wearing more than one hat” (this is key in small schools). • Help plan and participate in field trips of various duration. • Develop curricula that uses the resources of NYC and gets students to apply their learning in real-world settings.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"...and meaningful connection to students’ interests and lives."

How, pray tell, shall I make a meaningful connection between pi and my students' lives? The whole point of education, of course, is to prepare children for the myriad possibilities that life holds for them; one of those possibilities is "civil engineer", where pi -- and other mathematical concepts -- will have a "meaningful connection". Not to a 6th grader, though.

"Involve students in decision making about topics of classes..."

Yeah...that's a great decision. All of my students are mature enough to have meningful input into their education. Perhaps Coca Cola will flow through the waterfountains and there will be seven periods of gym a day.