Today I had the opportunity to visit Berea High School which is one of the best performing schools in Greenville. Besides having the opportunity to see the school environment, I also had the chance to talk to the principal Dr.Noel ( the principals I have come across in US have P.hds in Educational Leadership). The high school environment is definitely not as how it has been fed into our minds through the mainstream media, the kids were respectful, friendly and very welcoming. I also had the chance to observe a few English classes ; Literature, Reading, Creative Writing (my favourite of all) and also drama. I was amazed with the teachers' styles of teaching and their classroom management. I believe it has got to do with the number of students in the classes that help the teachers to take charge easily. Their teacher - student ratio is 1 : 22. However, I am sure I use more interesting ways to teach reading ....hahaha
|At Berea High School|
I was also introduced to the school Instructional coaches, they are similar to the SISC (school Improvement Special Coaches) in Malaysia. In US, the school instructional coaches do not move around from one school to another school to observe teachers and make comments but they stay put at one school and work together with the teachers to develop their area of specialization. At Berea high school there are 4 instructional coaches and one of them is for English language. I was told that she helps to improve the schools results by working with the teachers to develop literacy programs, create modules as well as develops and demonstrates best teaching practices.
One thing I realized is, in US the responsibility of being a principal is definitely not given to any Tom, Dick or Harry. Having observed Dr. Black (RMS) and Dr.Noel (Berea) I would definitely say that their knowledge in Educational Leadership has got to do something with their performance at school and I believe it is their leadership that has brought the schools to a meritorious level.
|with Dr.Noel during the briefing session...|
This does not mean that I am dreaming of becoming a principal in future…….if I were to have plans for my future development, being a principal will be at the bottom of my list or not in the list at all, I am comfortable with what I am doing now and will continue to do so……
|I have always thought that the auditorium which I used to see in the American series 'Glee'|
was a mere exaggeration until I saw a real high school theatre,,,,