Two weeks ago our school was visited by freshmen student government members from W.J.P.H.S. The visitors attended classes with select juniors and seniors. I always find it interesting how our own students view Q.H.S.T. and often attempt to listen in on the conversations. It is kind of a sneak peak into how we are doing.
Hot topic issues like DEAR, and Advisory don’t often arise. The one thing that continually comes up though is how “The teachers are all over us about our work.” It was amazing to hear a sophomore praising her opportunity to loop with a teacher who “annoyed her” but “makes me work.”
A Montessori junior invited herself into a discussion with Michael Tessler the teacher visiting from W.J.P.H.S. She enthusiastically shared her experience with the Saturday program and a video documentary she was working on. The visiting teacher was impressed.
Later after listing to the student’s lengthy explanation of her research so far. Mr.Tessler said, “Wow, so you guys offer honors classes on Saturday?” Impressed with the level of student inquiry and the obvious evidence of critical thinking, he was floored when I explained that the class was actually our replacement for traditional night school.
Later on my advisory met with the visitors to debrief the experience. After and ice breaker we centered our discussion on, “What does it mean to be from W.J.P.H.S. or Q.H.S.T?” Although the answers varied it was clear that size matters to both schools, teacher commitment was crucial, and a healthy offering of after school activities were essential for student engagement in school.
I learned much from the experience and was impressed how well our students can articulate their views of the school to others. (they really get it)