Thursday, October 2, 2008

High School Daze

Today I toured two very different high schools! First, I drove across town to Piux Xi to observe a couple classes and tour the building. The 1950-60 six-floor building...I declined the need to go all the way up to the sixth floor to see the art department. The school runs on 14 20+ minute modules a day, a different pattern of these mods every day of the week. Not confused enough? They also have a shortened day each week to allow for staff development. They have a very diverse school with about 1,100 students freshman through senior.
This was in great contrast to Dominican, the second school I attended today. This school is in the same suburb as me and feels a bit like O'G. I spent a great deal of my time meeting with the principal--very energetic man. The school is also highly diverse, but also extremely demanding. They are working toward attaining an international level endorsement. While I'm not quite sure what that means, it sounds fairly intensive to me. It requires the staff to attend training workshops (nation wide) and the adjustment of curriculum format and assessment.
I loved seeing the students in both schools. While watching classes at Pius, I was quite homesick for my little O-14 classroom at O'Gorman. Then I remembered that my classroom was the first to be struck down by the wrecking ball last spring! Sad. I did love being around students again. There is an energy and zest for being that seems to seep right out of high schoolers...especially those freshmen and sophomores. I am considering tutoring a little at one of the schools after I get my feet on the ground. Don't worry--I won't do too much or even start until I have myself in the academic mindset.

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