Middle School Posts

October 19, 2014

Lessons Learned from a Sixth Grade English Class

Hello everyone,

I hope you have had a wonderful weekend.  I saw many of you at Dawson Live on Friday.  What an amazing performance by our children!  It is so fun to see them up there rocking out to the tunes from our youth.  Thank you so much to Matt and Amy White for putting together such a wonderful performance.

 

During the week, I had the chance to visit Christal McDougall’s sixth grade English class.  While I was in the classroom, I noticed many wonderful things going on.  First, the architecture of the room is just lovely – the broad wood beams coupled with the light streaming in from the large windows makes for a beautiful space.  Second, the layout of the room is extremely comfortable for the students.  The desks are grouped together in one section so students can be close when working together.  But there are also a variety of alternative seating options – comfy chairs, side tables – that allow students to find their own space when appropriate.  Third, the room smelled really good.  I know that sounds like a strange thing to point out, but the sweet, warm smell (probably from a fall-scented candle) set the tone for a warm, comfortable class.

 

Most importantly, of course, was the teacher, as well as her demeanor with her students.  No matter what Ms. McDougall was doing, she consistently showed her students that she valued their ideas and wanted them to feel safe and comfortable.  This came across in the questions that she asked, making it clear that their opinions mattered.  And it came across in her responses to their questions – no question was silly or irrelevant.

 

At Dawson, the teacher-student relationship is so important – probably the main thing that graduates... » read more

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Want to Be a Supportive Parent? Let Your Child Take Risks.

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