We asked our community,
"What do you want school to look like for your children's children?"Anonymous responses are posted on this page.
- I would envision my grandchildren going to school in a district with a smaller teacher to children ratio; a school where they are grouped by academic performances; a school district that offers languages and band in primary grades; a district that desires to create a field of excellence in select areas with magnet schools; a school district that people want to move into.
- 1. Smaller classroom sizes for kinder through second grade. Kinder is not state required and many children attend pre-k in day care or not at all. The children are not used to classroom protocol or a structured learning environment. Teachers are at a disadvantage because they are also trying to teach behavior and basic knowledge. Keep kinder at about 12 - 15 students and gradually increase class size until they reach third grade. 24 kinders in a classroom is abhorrent.
2. Integrate physical activity with memorization of facts. Having kids sit all day without a lunch recess or only a 15 minute break is not enough to rejuvenate children... again, more breaks in low grades with less in upper grades. I have a child with ADHD and he needs more breaks just to keep his mind stimulated.
3. Offer school administration and teachers more ownership of how they teach and what materials they use if they are exemplary or recommended on standardized tests (STAAR).
4. Gifted and Talented students should be grouped together in a classroom so the teacher does not have to differentiate the curriculum as much to accommodate their students levels of knowledge or aptitude, this will allow the students to progress at a faster pace or go deeper into a particular subject. What we currently have in PACE is good but only a few hours a week is not doing enough to enrich our G.T. children's lives. This would also work for the children that are falling below grade level - they would not feel like they are different or "stupid" or "dumb." I would rather have my struggling student in a class where he is not picked on because he is a slow learner or makes bad grades and is with a teacher who is skilled at getting the most out of my child.
5. Let the Pre-AP and AP students treat their classes like college courses. If they can pass an exit exam for a class, then they can move on to a higher level class in a particular subject.
6. Create magnet schools or Montessori schools to allow those parents and students the option for specialized learning.
7. Develop EMS ISD to be the district that people want to move to for the schools because of low student:teacher ratios; excellent teachers and curriculum; outstanding achievement in a particular areas (ie: make an emphasis to produce the top science students or math students or music students in the state of Texas); show parents that their child is important.
8. Let teachers think and act outside of the box to provide the best education for all students - forget teaching all students the same way with the same materials. Teachers are individuals like our students and can't teach successfully when being made to teach in a manner that doesn't fit with their personality or style.
9. Encourage teachers to loop up with their students. My child has done so much better when they have a teacher for two years. Let the parents have the choice to loop up their students with their teacher or have a new teacher.I would love for my children to get up enthusiastically in the morning, excited about going to school, looking forward to the next wonderful lesson/activity. My youngest is not a morning person and if she had more to look forward to during the school day, I believe it would make it easier for me as a parent to get her going. School needs to be engaging. I know teacher's don't have to "entertain" but it sure helps when they make learning fun. =)
- Students need to be able to solve real life and current issues using creative thinking and communicate these ideas effectively. Secondary schools need to be reconfigured so students can develop their real talents in different schools within a school. Schools should also have interactive online learning where students do not have to attend school everyday. Our schools need to lead the way away from standard based testing and make exemplary actually mean exemplary. Exemplary is when students develop ideas and solutions to relevant global problems to be collaborated on and shared with others online through the use of modern technology.
- When walking into a learning community, one should notice an innovative learning environment that promotes children to be independent, yet socially responsible students that benefit most through progressive instructional approaches. One should also notice students that are actively participating in a student-centered environment that promotes high expectations that challenge every student to excel. The environment should be non-traditional in the sense that traditional worksheets are unnecessary but rather papers that provide a map to think by.
- Use technology more, such as the promethium boards that FWISD has in every classroom. Less focus on teaching to the tests. Be sure all teachers care about students. Open a Montessori school in the district. Also open a charter school for the gifted students to excel.
- For my children's children I want school to look less like a school with classrooms and buildings, and more like an interactive technological "hands-on" environment where kids are more interested in the content of the lesson, than what is going on with other students around them. Where, because they are interacting with the lesson, the lessons become real to them and not just words printed in a book or on a worksheet. I envision a virtual environment where the students are there in Independence Hall when the founding fathers debated and signed the constitution, and I believe this can be applied to all subjects and grade levels with the creative minds of teachers.
- I want there to be less focus on standardized tests and I want kids who are accelerated to be challenged at all times. I don't want them to have to sit through a 6-9 week review at the beginning of school reviewing concepts that they had mastered the previous year. If there are kids that need the review, that is great, but there also needs to be a way that the other children can proceed forward and start learning new curriculum so that they are challenged and not bored. Maybe the teachers could divide the kids into groups and each work with a different group of kids who have similar needs.
- I want every classroom facilitated by a great teacher! Great teachers realize what learning can be and go the extra mile to provide integrated, higher level, exciting lessons. These teachers know they need to guide children to think for themselves and be in control of their own actions. These teachers are not "teaching" for a paycheck. They love what they do; their students know because this positive energy permeates the learning environment. They let every individual kid know that he/she matters. Great teachers are open minded to constructive criticism and lifelong learners.
It is my belief, as a teacher in this district, that our focus for 2022 should be on having a great teacher for every student. Great teachers are the vehicle for where we want to go!
- Every child deserves to enter a building that is open enough to allow for creativity, real-world problem solving skills, and hands-on math and science lessons that make a direct impact on the local community; but, closed enough to provide psychological safety and a positive atmosphere free from peer pressures, bullying, and online aggression. The school of the future provides opportunities for all levels of occupation and education. It allows for flexible scheduling, multiple ways of learning, student centered project learning, self-paced learning of objectives and standards, and social skills for 21st century living. The school of the future is built to meet the needs of the future student- fast paced thinker, multiple task person, and purposeful thinker with real-life lessons that are important to them.
At the Community Forum on October 3, the question was asked and the answers received are below.
- I want school to be a safe place where students fell valued and can learn to their full potential.
- Continuous education, instant and applicable in "real time." A strong connection to the intrinsic need of the 21st century learner.
- Engaging, productive, learner-centered, up with the times, filled with meaningful activities, safe
- I want school to build on a strong base of core abilities (reading, writing, math) while always encouraging inquisitiveness and critical thinking.
- Knowledge they need and the challenge to learn more.
- Age appropriate school set-ups. Build the congregation on the ages and mindsets of the kids. Possibly group Pre-K through 1st, 2-6th, 7-9th 10-12th grades instead of the usual set-ups in EMS ISD. Group the children based on responsibilities and learning capacities.
- Dynamic, flexible, ever-changing, innovative, high performance, ability for each child to reach his or her full potential.
- Schools are a place where active learning can take place. They aren't prepping for standardized tests but rather learning by putting their lessons into practice.
- Our schools should be a place where ALL learners are celebrated and moved to a level BEYOND what they thought they could or would learn.
- Collaborative, relevant, clear connections to the real world, student choice in learning, students grouped by how they learn (i.e. creative thinkers, logical learners, etc.).
- More digital technology, more experiential learning - "hands on", mentorship, continue to prepare children for college and the "real" grown up world, still need teachers in the classroom.
- I want my grandchildren to have the opportunity to develop their talents and skills to be the best they can be.
At the Community Forum on October 10, the same question was asked. Responses are listed below.
- Full of technology, multicultural, welcoming environment, respectful and appreciation for all, to help the kids to succeed using different methods.
- I want the education of my children's children to reflect the community in which they live; project-based, problem-based learning opportunities.
- Speaking several languages, computer technology starts in kindergarten and is used throughout each academic area
- Categorize/organize classrooms according to learning strengths and academic ability
- I want public school to be more college-focused for most of the students and for public school to expect more from students.
- I want the children of the future to live in the most powerful country in the world (in all aspects) and be world leaders and thinkers. Schools must prepare students for whatever the future holds to have a competitive edge economically, militarily, academically, and more.
- I would like the technology in the schools to be better than what we have in our homes; we need to be leaders with technology.
- A school that has classrooms without walls to confine learning; a place where, upon graduation, my student should not anticipate being asked, "What was your favorite subject?" because he, and others, were afforded the opportunities to explore and connect relevant learning from K through 12 through modern/cutting edge technology and access to international contributions.
- Future-focused; progressive- keeping up with the world; technologically competitive; schools without walls; teachers become facilitators while students discover learning.