Go Visit a School

If you have the time to visit a school during the day, I encourage you to do so.  You don’t have to be a parent.  Just stop by and ask for a visitor’s pass.  It’s certainly one of the best parts of my job and it seems I get to do it far less than I would like.   Start in the Kindergarten classrooms and work your way up.  It’s amazing the things you can learn.

First and foremost, you’ll notice that teachers work hard.  I know a lot of you in the corporate world may not think so, but go watch am elementary teacher for an hour or so, or keep 25 middle school students on task all day, or explain the Calvin Cycle to high school students.   Better yet try subbing in one of our classrooms!  It’s not as easy as they make it look.

You almost never see a kid in Art, Music, or PE without a smile on their face.  This is particularly true in elementary schools.  Research shows that kids who spend quality time in these subjects perform better in core subjects.  Yet somehow in our obsession to be “globally competitive” we have forgotten the symbiotic nature of creativity and student achievement.   The problem is you can’t put a number on creativity or measure it with multiple choice test, so how will legislators hold us accountable?  They won’t for that very reason and because of that, the value of these subjects and their value to our quality of life and our economy will continue to be lost for generations to come.

Leftover food in the teacher’s lounge has the life expectancy of a blind Mule Deer on Highway 191.

It takes a special person to work in a middle school.   For those of you who don’t understand this, you haven’t spent much time with kids that age.

Research shows that the frontal lobes of teenagers, the part of the brain responsible for making good decisions, are not fully connected.  It’s true. We’ve known this for some time but if you need any evidence , take a quick survey of the shoes high school students are wearing in January.  I know Wyoming kids are a tough bunch, but you’d be amazed at the number of flip-flops you’ll see.

Parent involvement is one of the most important factors in the success of school age children. Students with involved parents get better grades, attend school more regularly, and have a higher likelihood of success after high school.   So start with a visit to your child’s school this week.  Consider volunteering at the school or joining a committee.  You could learn a lot and benefit both your child and our schools.

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About Jay Harnack

Superintendent of Sublette County School District #1
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3 Responses to Go Visit a School

  1. Barbara Leiseth says:

    Kuddos to our high school parents. Several attended the parent informational meetings on Monday and Tuesday this week to discuss the second semester reading interventions.

  2. ward wise says:

    I learn so much as a sub, great stuff and 100% on this info. How about adding 15 minutes a day for Spanish in ES & MS?

  3. Cristy says:

    “You almost never see a kid in Art, Music, or PE without a smile on their face. This is particularly true in elementary schools. Research shows that kids who spend quality time in these subjects perform better in core subjects.”
    Hooray! We’re doing our jobs!
    “….the value of these subjects and their value to our quality of life and our economy will continue to be lost for generations to come.”
    *sigh* I hope not. But it’s something I sure worry about. I’m glad to know it’s something that’s on your mind as well. I hope it’s possible for us to be successful teaching kids to think.

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