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Day 37: Homecoming and Halloween

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Day 37/180: Homecoming and Halloween, and peer-editing

Because of assemblies and Round Up, classes were only 30 minutes long today. I also found out that a very large number of my students participate in football, cheer, dance line, and leadership, so that my classes were awfully empty today. For the kids in class, they did a “peer-edit” of someone else’s lab report, which means they went through an official checklist of stuff so that when I see the paper on Monday, it’ll look fantastic. For the kids who actually did the editing, I think they’ll be fine. For those who chose to ignore it, or to work on their own despite having all of yesterday to work, I don’t know.

And I had a flaming pumpkin.

I finally figured out what I like about being back in a big school: the atmosphere of this school is fantastic. It’s a really supportive staff, fairly friendly and optimistic students, and a general good vibe. I attended a high school a bit larger than this one, and never felt a cohesiveness, even among the staff (although we all knew there were some cliques among the teachers). I was a band-music-science-nerd (different group from the strict science-nerds and music-nerds), and was never part of, nor wanted to be part of, all of the popular kids (several separate cliques) and the Homecoming festivities and royalty. The whole time I’ve been at this school (6 weeks already?!), kids are largely supportive of others, starting with high-fives at the front door every morning. They actually help the person next to them if there are questions, and can (and do!) ask neighbors for help in class. They’re generally polite (or at least civil) to each other and to staff. Staff are pretty united in friendly ways and works. It’s a super nice atmosphere to be in and work in.

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2 responses »

  1. Andy "SuperFly" Rundquist

    It’s great to hear that you’re really enjoying your school and your school year. Thanks for keeping us all up-to-date with this 180 blog! I have two questions: 1) If it’s a checklist that they’re using for the peer editing, do their suggested edits come as a surprise? 2) If I were in a high school, I think I’d start by assuming that the cliques are the same as what were in my high school. I’m sure if I looked for them, I’d find them, but I wonder if there’s a way to see what’s there without coloring it with our own history?

    Reply
    • Thanks for commenting!

      Absolutely there’s cliques! I don’t think it can not-happen at any large collection of people, school or workplace. But at least at this school, it seems like it’s more acceptable for students to cross (at least a few) of the “lines” between groups. It was not acceptable at my high school, even to get help. My cousin was in my grade, but we didn’t acknowledge each other because he was in one of the popular cliques and I was… uh, not.

      And the peer edits (at least the kids taking it seriously) seemed to really be in earnest. I heard discussions between some kids that were really great. “Hey, I had this thing here, and you might want to think about adding something like it to yours.” “Wait, we got different answers, but we’re lab partners. What’d we do differently?” “Be careful how you word things here; it sounds strange.” That’s not to say that every kid works with every other kid and it’s all rainbows and marshmallows, but it’s part of why I think the school is generally more open than what I experienced.

      Reply

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