My five-year-old son is in Kindergarten at Poplar Springs Elementary School. His teacher, Mrs. Shelley Whittington, sends out weekly e-mails to us parents to keep us informed on what is being taught and learned in her classroom.
To provide a small glimpse into what makes Poplar Springs second-to-none in elementary education, here is a sample of one of her weekly e-mails:
“This is letter Kk week. Please send something for “letter box show and tell” that begins with this letter. We have many learning activities with this letter. At the Writing Center, students will write three sentences about a king. At the Art Center, students will create kaleidoscopes using permanent markers, oil pastels, and water colors. At the Math Center, students will make number sets using pennies. They will also write numbers to 20 and practice making patterns using linking cubes. At the Listening Center, students will listen to the book, “Kites” on the computer. They will draw and label the different kites. This is great practice for spelling our color words. We will be making a book all about KINDERGARTEN which includes: writing letters, numbers, words and drawing friends and teachers. We will be talking about the first Thanksgiving in Social Studies. We have a Weekly Reader about being thankful. This would be a good topic for discussion with your family. The BOOK FAIR will be going on this week. You may send money and I’ll take them to shop. They made a wish list when they went to the library today. WORD LIST #7 is coming home today on flash cards. PLease review daily: read, write, and spell. Your child needs to be able to read these words by Fri. We discovered another website great for reinforcement. It’s called www.softschools.com. After you get to the site, just click on “kindergarten” and there are all sorts of skills for them to practice.
PTA is Tues. night at 6:00
Movie Day is this Fri.- It is free, but refreshments will cost $1.00 each. We’ll send a note to let you know. This is a fund raiser for the 5th grade Washington trip.
Also, this Fri. is a JEAN DAY
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! Enjoy your week off with your sweet children.”
Mrs. Whittington, like the rest of the staff at PSE, is required by state and federal laws to be certified in the instruction of elementary students. This means that, in order to be in a classroom at Poplar Springs(or any other public elementary school, for that matter), one must have a college degree in Elementary Education and must pass not one, but two federally mandated exams.
I don’t know about you, but I’d say that makes the overwhelming majority* of the teachers of the Meridian Public School District pretty well qualified to teach our children.
As a matter of fact, out of all the elementary, middle, and high school educational options in our area, only one is required by law to have certified, professional teachers: our city and county public schools.
Stay tuned for my next post later today — an exclusive interview with PSE Principal Lavonda Germany.
*(I say “overwhelming majority” because I’m not going to lie to you: Of the roughly 1,000 employees of the MPSD, 5 – 10% are, indeed, mediocre. And, guess what: 5 – 10% of the people in your organization — whether it’s your business, your school, your civic club, etc. — are mediocre, also. You try to help these people improve. Some improve and some do not. You remove the ones who do not improve, and so does the current leadership of this school district.)
FACT: Contrary to popular belief, teachers in the MPSD can be — and have been — terminated for failing to do their jobs. A principal may put a teacher on probation for one academic year with the requirement to make certain improvements. If those improvements are not made, the principal has the full legal authority to terminate the teacher.