Tom and Rhonda

Rhonda and Tom
Two Generations at GFS

Rhonda and her son Tom have been a part of GFS for years. Starting at school together, Rhonda taught as a fourth grade assistant teacher for Diana Corliss, and Tom was a student in kindergarten. Rhonda was inspired to be a teacher by the fact that her son was  going to this school; she came because of her children and has stayed ever since.  Rhonda loves technology but is also very creative “if I wasn’t a computer teacher I would like to teach graphic design or art” she dishes to bridge reporter when they ask her favorite subject. Tom, a “lifer” began GFS at age five in kindergarten. Five years later when he started sixth grade in Jeff Fetterman’s class, he had his mom as a computer teacher. Now he works alongside her as a colleague and he says it’s “much less awkward”. When asked why he started teaching Tom says “when an opportunity came for me to come and teach, I jumped at it.” Tom hasn’t totally decided that he is going to be a teacher but he likes working with the middle-school age group and he enjoys their fun and energetic way of approaching things. He graduated from The George Washington University where he majored in history and since then he says that it is “great getting to work side by side with such a brilliant educator” (Rhonda) and learning from his teaching experience. Rhonda, when asked if she has fun working alongside Tom, says “definitely! This way I get to see Tom everyday!”

Should Laptops be Allowed in School?

Laptops in School, The Great Debate
By Gabe Buyske

Parents, teachers, and students have been arguing about laptops in GFS for about as long as I can remember (I’m new). That’s why I interviewed one representative from each group and talked to them about their opinions so we can finally get an answer to THE GREAT DEBATE

Should laptops be in school? Interview with parent:

Question: What is your general view of laptops in school?

Answer: Overall, I think that they allow you to access a lot of information. Also I think they are a good use of technology.

Q: What are some pros of laptops?

A: Well, for one thing, students can write on them eliminating the issue with handwriting. It also lets you practice using laptops at an early age as you will when you’re an adult, it  gives you access to internet, and easily allows you to receive emails from teachers during the day.

Q: What do you think are some cons of laptops in school?

A: They provide access to Facebook and social networking sites wich can be distracting, they allow for less serious research such as use of Wikipedia, they are expensive and are easily lost or damaged.

Q: How do you think they can be funded?

A: More money needs to be put in student education and should be government funded but damage or loss of the laptops should be the student’s responsibility.

Should laptops be allowed in school? Interview with Rhonda:

Q: What is your general view of laptops in school?

A: I think they will eventually be used more and this will eventually happen.

Q: What are some pros of laptops?

A: The fact that you can bring your files with you and you don’t run the risk of losing data. I also think its good for students who have problems with organization.

Q: What are some cons of laptops?

A: There could be a chance a student could use it inappropriately.

Q: How do you think they can be funded if we do get them?

A: I think we could get donations from ex-students who have graduated.

Should laptops be allowed in school? Interview with student 1

Q: What is your general view of laptops in school?

A: They can be useful. While I don’t bring them in, other people might want to.

Q: What are some pros of laptops?

A: They can provide resources and can be a powerful tool as well you can use it for math and writing as well.

Q: What are some cons of laptops in school?

A: Can be used for non-school things such as social networking and can be distracting.

Q: How can we fund laptops?

A: Donations from parents.

Should laptops be allowed in school? Interview with student 2.

Q: What is your general view of laptops in school?

A: I don’t think that anyone under ninth grade should be allowed to have laptops in school because until that age I don’t believe that students will be responsible. Sixth to Eighth Graders are very unorganized and laptops might help them keep everything together.  Also students with bad handwriting should not be deprived of good grades because the teacher finds it difficult to read.

Q: What are some pros of laptops in school?

A: Organization, no excuse for forgetting work, easy way to type homework, makes finishing work easier and faster so you can do a better job and learn more.

Q: What are some cons of laptops in school?

A: They’re distracting, would distract students, students may go on Youtube and inappropriate sites, easily cheating on tests and work, for example going on a history site because you didn’t study and that promotes dishonesty.

Q: How can laptops be funded?

A: Not funded by school, but by parents so the school can save money and since laptops are not essential  this will be a good punishment but will not hurt the students grade.

Are Middle Schoolers Getting Too Much Homework?

Middle Schoolers take a break from their studies

Are middle schoolers getting too much homework? Here is a question that has been asked many times, by students, teachers, and parents. Out of the eighth graders I surveyed 64% believed that they were getting too much homework (please tell me what you think by participating in the poll.)

If over half of the students in eighth grade think that they are getting too much homework, are they actually getting too much homework? Some people may say, “obviously,” but do students think they are getting too much homework because it takes them too long. Does it take them too long because they have facebook up when they are typing? This is a question that we must ask. Personally, on average I believe I get about two hours to two hours and a half of homework a night, or about 25 to 35 minutes per subjects. That doesn’t sound like a lot but it adds up. If I have a sports game I get home around six and then I have dinner around six thirty so I am up doing homework to nine or ten on a bad night. There are so many distractions and I think that adds some time. This years testimony might just help the eighth grade not be so sleepy in the morning.