The first school I visited was Madison Academy in Huntsville, Alabama. It is a private, Christian school. Observing a fourth grade class, I was interested to see the demeanor of the children and how they interacted with each other and with their teacher. From what I gathered, fourth graders are old enough to follow instructions on their own, but still youthful enough to need guidance in certain areas. Math seemed to be the hardest subject for the students. I do not know much about Common Core yet, but I did notice how difficult it was for current teachers to explain to the students how there are different ways to work math problems. Apparently, Common Core is new to Madison Academy and is now required for every teacher. I was able to witness how challenging it is for teachers who have been in the teaching field for a long time to teach by Common Core. But, it did seem to benefit particular students whose minds needed a different way to process information.
During the day, all subjects were covered; and the teacher did not waste time. The students appeared to be engaged and eager to learn. I enjoyed the way the teacher addressed rea...
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...ss was also more creative. One thing I noticed that caught me by surprise was the amount of time the fourth grade teacher sat in her desk or stood in the front of the room. The Kindergarten teacher at Amboy was always moving around; and I never saw her at her desk. Both schools have technology. Amboy’s technology is less in number, but more advanced in capability and hands-on potential. Madison Academy and Amboy had clean facilities, caring teachers, respectful students, bright and organized classrooms, and inviting atmospheres. I would have never guessed that Amboy was a high poverty school. Many, including myself, assume private schools have the best of everything. Many assume poverty schools have the worst of everything. However, in both cases, many assumptions are false. I judged these two schools by the classification they reside in . . . and I should not have.
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