Good Teaching a Good Start
But there are ways school can improve
Kid Reporter Andre Baker-Harris with (Photo courtesy Andre Baker-Harris)
Iowa Maple School, built in 1951, is a part of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) in Ohio. Iowa Maple School is a pre-K to 8th grade school. The Iowa Maples staff is a mix of the fairly new and some members who have been teaching here for a long time.
She may only teach 2nd grade now, but Madelyn Harland is no stranger to Iowa Maple or to teaching. Harland has been teaching for 34 years and has taught every grade from kindergarten to 8th.
"I would like to see everyone placed in classes by their strengths," Harland said. She would also like the school to "pump up the reading," but she believes there is a process that has to be followed. "You cannot just throw things at students," she said.
Many of the new staff members at Iowa Maple have previously worked in the CMSD.
Rhonda Lawrence, a library teacher for all grades at Iowa Maple, has been a teacher for 20 years. She has worked at Iowa Maple for two. She says she would like to see students and parents more involved.
"I'd like to see students a little more serious about learning," Lawrence told the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.
She also thinks there is an advantage to learning in smaller groups.
"The key to learning and having fun while doing it is learning in small class sizes," Lawrence said.
Eighth-grade student Demetria H. says the best things about her school are her friends and the activities.
"I'm looking forward to the volleyball team, the girl's basketball team, and student council," Demetria said. She thinks the school would be better off with lockers and new sports equipment.
Another 8th-grader, Antwan B., says the best thing about his school are the sports and the after-school activities. If he could, he would move the school to a bigger building to fit more students and to have more space for more classes and more activities.
"I'm looking forward to getting my grades up," Antwan added.
Iowa Maple is a very organized school. And the person who makes sure it stays that way is Principal Stacy Johnson.
"We have to find innovative ways to keep up with our students," Principal Johnson said.
Even though Iowa Maple doesn't offer all the extracurricular activities its students want right now, Principal Johnson will strive to get them for her students next year.
"Every year is a great year to me," Principal Johnson said.
OUR SCHOOLS, OUR FUTURE
In conjunction with NBC News' Education Nation, Kid Reporters around the country have interviewed their teachers, principals, and classmates about the state of education in their communities and what the classroom of the future might look like in the special report Our Schools, Our Future.
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