As each middle school child shared his or her opinion about a classroom they’d never experienced before, my face brightened with a broad smile. One student brandished a sign saying, “I read 15 books this year. Last year I read 2.” Another sign read, “I’ve been able to use feedback to make my writing better.”
Students huddled around a table, working on yearlong projects, while others lounged in a hallway, backs against lockers, reading paperback novels or eBooks on a mobile device. Some had intimate chats with their teacher, explaining what they had accomplished and what remained to be done.
On a 100-degree day in a suburban school tucked not far from Dallas-Fort Worth, last August, a group of educators made a commitment to revolutionize teaching and learning for their Texas students.
In the video above, these Texas students share their feelings about this remarkable journey. It’s one of the most powerful 9-minute productions I’ve ever seen.
Perhaps this is because of my close relationship with the remarkable teachers who transformed their classrooms. Or, maybe, it’s simply because the students are the stars.
Sadly, in education, we often forget our most important stakeholders. The teachers at Coppell East have put students at the center and created a magical place, filled with enthusiastic, independent learners.