I recently read an exciting article in City Arts called "Creative Class: whether or not you have a kid in school, the future depends on arts education," by Jonathan Zwickel. This article talks about Northgate Elementary where 90% of the kids are below poverty level and the exciting teacher, Zac Stowell. I am really impressed with what is going on in his classroom. The article talks about one lesson, a dance lesson. He teaches using YouTube clips to show what is possible and to show dance choreography. He gives examples of sharp and smooth moves and shows them how to use math to plan dance choreography. The challenge for the students who divide up into groups is to create a dance for a dance company. "The dance will have a pattern that is a total of 10 counts. The pattern will have 2 parts: smooth and sharp. The sharp percussion part is 2/5 of the pattern." The kids explode with promise in his classroom. All are engaged and part of the excitement of creation. Every teacher should be this great! I would enjoy being in his classroom. The beauty of this kind of multidiscipline teaching is that it teaches on many levels at once. I love it! There is exciting things going on in his classroom and this is the first teacher that I have heard about in a LONG time that I am truly impressed with. This is excellence in education.
Northgate Elementary must be a great school. All students recite in unison the Northgate Pledge, which ends in an affirmation: "I will try to do right to make my future look bright! I am a winner!" Wow! This is a great school and example to all schools!