Last week, Chris LaBonte, Ph.D., visited St. Gregory; Chris is the Middle and Upper School Head of Tesseract School in Phoenix. He wrote the following to share with teachers at his school of the qualities of St. Gregory which impressed him:
1. The school has a great outdoor program and works to train their seniors to become leadership facilitators to the Middle school and underclassmen.
2. . In the Upper school at St. Gregory they take a summer trip to Kenya where they teach in local schools. This was quite impressive and encouraged me to be open to more exotic trips during the summer. I encourage interested MS and US faculty to look at this for next summer.
3. I visited a number of outstanding classrooms; in one, the Latin teacher had totally transformed his room, with a stage, life size chariots, Lego Roman solders. This reminded me that no matter WHAT the subject, kids will love it if we love it and if this is demonstrated by the environment.
4. I visited an outstanding science lab in which some space had been purposely kept empty to run cars and tracts. There was also tracking across the entire ceiling so that swinging balls could be hung from adjustable tracks.
5. I visited a 7th grade class where the students had finished reading of mice and men, and were going on a trip to do service work with families as a final ‘project’
6. I visited a math teacher who had each of his algebra students take the NCTM (AZ branch) algebra test.
7. I visited an alg II class where the students had made a 50 foot by 50 foot grid outside using flour. He then had the students WALK out the linear equations as they took pictures of the lines from on top of the roof.
8. I visited a Spanish class in which a map of the ‘Spanish speaking world’ had been drawn on the board with each country colored in (see attached picture) and each student did a project –which they posted next to their country- on a different country. This class also had rotating weekly ‘authentic items’ on a table.
I hope you find some of this information helpful or inspiring and that it encourages you to set up visits with other schools, there is a lot of great education going on around us.