Reflections on My First Day at SchoolDenise Goldman
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!
Interim Executive Director, UMA