Today was one of those 5:30 wake ups so I could get to Dover Middle School by 7:30 as first period began. I was up even before the official start time and even though Tuvia could have started his day later, he insisted on being up with me even though, when roles are reversed he fights me.
He was right with me, drinking a first cup of coffee with me in the morning darkness. We left with our own bags: mine filled with cameras and computers, his with dinner leftovers and his overnight case and we honked our good-byes as we signaled left, onto Mountainview Road one behind the other.
He traveled north, I went south, over the bridge, on to the Saw Mill north, and finally Route 22 as I began my news day with an NPR update on the current issues of revolution in the world and revolution in the US. In my reality I had time to stop for a large DD coffee.
I arrived at Dover with still more time to sip, to collect materials, to cover up with gloves and ear 180’s ready to take on the winter wind that seems like it will never leave us. Well it will leave me alone for at least a week when we get on that plane and head for Aruba.:)
Standing at the welcoming desk, the secretary typed my information into the computer and in seconds I had my cool photo id and I was off to Jack’s room without thinking twice. FINALLY, I know my way!
It was my plan to rotate around 4 of the 6 IC groups meeting in the teams during the first two morning periods. I still needed Jack to make a classroom list for me and talk through their locations and I was off!
I FOUND excitement was in every class I visited. EVERY CLASS!
Each group moved to its own rhythm of course, but every IC teacher team worked to encourage, support and help implement their students’ ideas. Every IC teacher!
I don’t know what these girls were sharing but they would share their discoveries with me proudly if I had asked. PROUDLY!
Later, we met with the student tech team and the IC teacher team and the enthusiasm continued as discoveries were made and shared. Projects are being created and most of the skeptics are engaged, working toward a final project even if no one at this moment is exactly sure what that will look like.
Like all of the New York State 8th grades this group of 8th graders will be taking the mandatory high stakes tests in the Spring but at Dover MS there is still respect and hope and faith that if teachers and students are engaged together in a hands-on learning experience they will learn beyond a mere test.
I can’t wait to see where we go from here!