Monday, December 13, 2010

School is cool!!

During the fall trimester our kids have had some amazing opportunities to explore their creative sides at school. There has been a choir for a long time that goes through the winter months, but this year for the first time they put together a show called "Pirates: The Musical". Seriously, an elementary school musical production! The music teacher didn't know what to expect, but she thought she would give it a try. She was more than a little surprised when 96 kids signed up! It was way beyond what we could have imagined--so very cool! Bethany loved it!

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Ben would have made a great pirate, but he was too busy on the school's robotics team. He programmed up a storm to make the robot accomplish missions, which they took to competition last week. I can't tell you how great it was to see Ben competing with his brain instead of his body.

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The competition has a different theme each year, and this year's was biomedical engineering. Each of the robot's missions had something to do with a technological solution to a physiological problem. The team also had to do a presentation based on research of a specific medical challenge of their choosing. Ben's team did awesome, especially for a first-year team of fifth-graders. They also came home with the team spirit award. No big surprise! :-)

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When I quit teaching to stay home with my kids, there were several people who were surprised that I didn't choose to homeschool them. But I was a public school teacher, and we always knew that public school would be our first option for our kids, as long as it turned out to be a good fit. While we intentionally live within the boundaries of a good school district, we didn't choose our house by first hand-picking the school we wanted. We just bought the house we wanted, and went with our neighborhood school.

Our school has talented, articulate, committed teachers who go so far above and beyond to give our kids great opportunities that it truly humbles me. It grieves me when I hear people complain about "how terrible the public schools have gotten". Sure, there are tired out teachers, and some schools and districts that have gotten into trouble. Horror stories sell well in the news. And yes, everyone needs to know their children and choose the option that is the best fit for each of them. But I would love to give a tour to anyone who thinks that public schools on the whole are bad. They would stand in AWE.

I thank God for public school teachers all over our country who are doing a totally incredible job of pouring their hearts and lives into our kids, each and every day! They are shaping the foundation of our society's future. Pray for them!

6 comments:

Betty said...

I love your attitude to public schools and think that that is a big help to the success of your kids. I went to public schools when we lived in BC and have only the best memories of them. I hope your kids thrive and do well, as I can see they are.

Joy said...

I'm with you Tracy. I've been so pleased with our public schools here. We have so many amazing teachers and administration. I truly feel blessed and feel comfortable sending my girls every day.
I love Ben the Engineer. I know he is right at home with robotics. (are we seeing GT in his future) Bethany made the cutest pirate. Glad she got to be in the performance.
Do they call them trimesters up there. That is the first I've heard of that. We're on regular two semester years. Although the highschool here does block scheduling so Paige is about to complete her freshman year of Biology and World Geo. Next semester will be Math and English.
♥ Joy

Janette said...

First...this post made me cry. You truly are blessed at Highland. I am learning to be content with and supportive of my school here and it isn't bad, but I definitely don't have the same feeling here as I did there.
Second...my hubby is requesting a better pic of the robot design. Ours didn't do so well at the tournament.

Skeller said...

those are without a doubt the CUTEST pirates I've ever seen!! ;-)

and yay for Ben's team!!

Givinya De Elba said...

What an exciting post! We hear a lot about how 'dreadful' the public schools are in USA, and I've always wondered if it was invariably true or not!

We are sending our kids to a public school here. For Nat's first year, he had the most wonderful, beautiful, encouraging, firm, fair, Christian teacher I could ever have asked for! We know it won't always be like this, but we love our school!

Nat can learn from kids from different cultures and kids with disabilities and he's blossoming. I too thank God for our public school!

stefanie said...

We have a senior and a sophomore who have only been in public schools. Our experience has been mostly positive. The girls have had opportunity to do, see, and hear wonderful things. The negatives that come to mind could have been an issue in any schooling system.

It frustrates me when I hear blanket statements about any schooling system -they all come with good and bad. That's life! Make the best choice you can make for your kids and move on...but don't spread rumors and propaganda...grrrr. I was terrified of all the bad stuff my kids would be exposed to because - I confess - I listened to some of that trash talk.

I'm thanking God with you, and praying too.