Monday, November 10, 2008

So long, boring blacktop

The Globe had an article this weekend about Mattapan’s Chittick Elementary School, an East Zone school, dedicating their restored schoolyard, courtesy of the Boston Schoolyard Initiative.

They now have a new outdoor classroom -- which includes planting beds, pulleys, thermometers, and rain-collectors -- two new jungle gyms, and world and city maps on the ground.

The organization is able to revamp about six schoolyards a year. The West Zone elementary schools who’ve already benefited from the program include: Ohrenberger, Hennigan, Beethoven, Trotter, Haley, Ellis, Mendell, Hernandez, Hale, Sumner, Fuller, Dickerman, John F. Kennedy, Bates, Kilmer, Philbrick. I know the Mozart principal mentioned that they were applying for this program.


Mandis said...

In doing research for graduate-level work in education, I came across your blog. I have to say your blog is EXTREMELY disturbing. First, you chose to save money and live in the city in order to have more children and therefore send your child to public school--are you serious? Second, you have issues beyond reproach if you actually think you are qualified to understand what it takes to be a teacher (your father's short service is not yours). Teaching, MY FRIEND, is a difficult profession at best and having a know-it-all parent critique a teacher is the last thing needed in a classroom. You are part of what is wrong with education today and if you keep it up then YOU will help destroy a system that works, in most cases, beautifully! Seriously, give it a rest and take your child to private school and leave the BPS system out of your asylum-like world, they do not deserve it!

jenmcw said...

Am enjoying your blog very much. Have attended 2 of the 3 open houses you wrote about. It's very helpful to read about your impressions, as a way of clarifying my own. Also, since I had my two kids with me on the Ohrenberger tour, it was very helpful to read about some of the things that I apparently missed! So thank you very much and please continue your blog!

Geeky Mama said...

Hi Mandis,

Thank you for your comment. I appreciate all viewpoints.

I certainly don't pretend to know anything about teaching. In fact, I know nothing about teaching other than what I've observed as a student. I just said I had an interest in public education. I'm really not trying to critique teachers. I'm just trying to post my impressions of schools and get a feel for what might be a good fit for my son.

My husband and I do like living in the city. It's certainly not cheaper than living in a lot of suburbs, but there are tradeoffs. We've accepted that. I wouldn't say that we chose to live in a city so we could have more children. Not at all. In fact, living in the city is a limitation to having more kids. If, and that's if, we choose to have more kids, it would have to wait until my son was in public school.

I don't think it's reprehensible that I would want to be involved in my child's education, and I don't plan on being a helicopter parent. For instance, my preschool called me yesterday to let me know that my son had a minor medical incident on the playground. My take -- no big deal, if he's ok, handle it as you see fit. From what I can tell, parental involvement in a lot of these schools has had a positive impact. THey help raise funds for arts and other programs. What's so wrong with that? One teacher actually mentioned they were looking for volunteers to help in the classroom. I'm actually considering it. Again, I see that as a positive and not a negative.

Heading back to my asylum now.