Reflections on My First Day at School

Reflections on My First Day at School

I came to UMA excited about what I understood about the school’s mission and beliefs.   Today, I was eager to see if I would experience the following statements from the school’s web page:

  • “A collaborative community engaging lifelong learners in active, authentic experiences”
  • “Dynamic teaching and learning through interdisciplinary and a multi-dimensional instructional approach”
  • “Learning is a distinct, personal process for every student”

The answer is a resounding YES!

From the start, I was amazed by the teachers’ enthusiastic welcoming of me into their classrooms where I saw students learning with one another, as well as with the support of a cadre of adults.  Some observations that highlight that the school is meeting its mission include:

  • Students respectively discussing that advisory time should be used to address and learn about racism
  • The use of a picture of M.C. Escher’s Drawing Hands to prepare for a language arts unit on “what’s real”
  • History and language arts teachers collaborating on a unit on “good causing evil”
  • Students thoughtfully drawing alternative diagrams of the C02 cars that they will design and build
  • Students taking apart and repairing bicycles
  • A group of culinary students discussing, among themselves, the challenges of getting gluten-free cookies to rise in the previous year
  • Students comparing the airiness and taste of four different recipes they followed for ginger snap cookies.
  • Social Justice Art students choosing social issues that they want to represent through their prints
  • Choir students learning dance steps to follow while singing a song from Namibia

UMA is truly a special place.

Thank you teachers and students for a great first day of school!

Harry Adler
Interim Executive Director, UMA



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