Instructional Innovations

MCHS Newsletter: Week of April 11

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Teaching Kids to Swim

This time of year usually begins my own ritual of reflection. As I prepared students for EOCs and AP exams, I found my brain wandering to the next school year and what I might do differently the next school year. Thus, I began the BIG LIST of changes I would make--it was akin to getting ready for New Years Day. Some of the changes went by the wayside pretty quickly much like my "I will lose weight this year" goal at the new year. But others, usually the more important, tended to stick around and I think my teaching became better for it.


Reflecting on our practice is incredibly rewarding, but it can also be risky. To really grow as a teacher, we have to be honest with ourselves and that can be dangerous. Just like those new year resolutions, we have to take a long, hard look in the mirror and assess what needs to change and what can stay.


I have probably watched the TedTalk below over twenty times. Each time I picture a particular student who believes that he or she has reached the pinnacle of what they can become. So many students believe that their story is already written, and it is blatant in their actions or their ability to not act.


So as you begin to reflect on your own journey this year, I want to share the video that lies at the heart of my own reflection and ask you to reflect on the following questions: how might you teach or train our kids that they can STILL write their own story? As a faculty family, how can we teach ALL of our kids to swim?

Caught in the Act...

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I have been trying to spotlight our awesome drama program for a few weeks, but alas, they were busy with some tiny little production that sold out every night (four shows), "Hairspray" (ok...large production). This production had a cast of over 40 with a crew of 20 students. They deserve more accolades than I can list here. So I am giving away my own Moscars (MCHS version of Oscar...just roll with me).


In the category of best director and herding of cats--eh, students, the winner is...Mr. Brian Jones.


Brian Jones grew up in the remote location of Athens, Georgia and is in his 9th year teaching at MCHS. Never one to back away from a challenge, (his nickname is Brian "Never Back Down" Jonesy) Brian is currently in his 4th year as the director of the drama program, which has only grown with him at the helm. In his time off stage, he teaches 10th Lit Honors, ESOL, and Drama.


Winning the new category of best interpretive dance performance in a classroom is Mrs. Heidy Barger for her role as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet.


Heidy "Bringer of the Pain...er...Drama" Barger was raised on the mean streets of Montana. During high school, in order to prove herself a real 'tough nut', Heidy became involved in the cut throat world of high school competitive drama. This eventually earned her an acting scholarship to Southern Virginia University (which is an actual school), where she majored in Theater and English. After moving to Georgia, Heidy taught at Newton High School in Covington, GA for a year; here she taught Drama all day, every day. Heidy loves using drama methods both in her Intro to Drama class and in her 9th grade Lit classes. Her Freshman Wing neighbors have come to tolerate the strange noises that often reverberate from her room (hopefully). In her drama class her students are introduced to theater through improvisation, playwrighting, and scene studies.

Kelly Clarkson: Requested by the Lovely, Mrs. Dutton

Kelly Clarkson - Piece by Piece