Story 115 really had me thinking about the importance of communication. I love the idea of having students write to pen pals from another part of the country. It gives students a real audience and allows them to relate to other students their age who may struggling with similar problems. I love how excited the students got when they received a new letter. Getting students to truly care about something in school is critical in order for them to learn something. It’s awesome that the students even had the opportunity to visit the other schools. It was probably scary and intimidating for the students, but a very important experience to have. It gives them perspective they may not be familiar with, which allows them to be more accepting and open.
Story 118 reminded me of the time I worked in a second grade classroom at Mallett. Once a week, the second graders would pair up with kindergarten students and read to each other. I loved watching how excited they all were to see each other. It gave the second graders a chance to share what they had learned and gave the kindergarteners a chance to practice in front of a friendly audience. It’s a great program. The one talked about in the story goes a step further. It takes sixth graders from one school and pairs them with kindergarteners from a very different school. Not only are the students connecting with others different in age, but also different in experience, which is very beneficial to all involved.
I really liked how the teacher in 130 stood up for herself. It wasn’t fair of the department head to repeatedly assign her to teach a class on African American history just because she was African American. I’m glad she finally decided to do something about it and actually got the principal to listen. I’m sure that particular teacher is capable of teaching more than just African American history and it might actually be good for the other students to hear some new perspectives from a different teacher. I’m just glad the principal actually did something to help the teacher, because that may not always be the case in other schools.