[NOTE: This article was originally published on the blog of the Durham Association of Educators. Click HERE to read it and view the photographs.]
It’s really hard to walk around an elementary school and not think about the future. It’s also hard to think about the future without this happening in my head, but I digress…
One of the most exciting aspects of this DAE tour is getting to think about the public schools in Durham as a system, not just an collection of individual schools. While no one says it out loud, one impact of the imposed standardized testing regime and the corresponding school report cards is that schools in a system get isolated from each other and end up competing. Yes, the students at School A are a reflection of the school, but they don’t live in A-land, they live in Durham, and the outcome of their education doesn’t impact just that school or its attendance zone, but our entire city, and our whole world.
Eastway is a special place. In my time there, I have had so many amazing experiences and met some wonderful people. The staff at Eastway is so incredibly hard working. It’s not uncommon to have the building open past 6:00pm for basketball practice, parent workshops, or literacy nights. I have never seen a group of more dedicated people, and everyone is dedicated to two things: first and foremost, educating children, and second, growing and improving. We know how to look at the things we need to improve on, make the changes we need to make, and see the positive effects of our hard work.
I have volunteered with Eastway Elem. School for almost 5 years now. I have been involved with the PTA also as the President. To me there is not enough room to write what I need to. From the principal Star Sampson to the rest of the office and to the teachers you could NOT ask for a better group of people to work with your child. So many take to heart their jobs, doing things for a child that needs that extra hug they didn’t get at home to that one-on-one help with school work. They go beyond their jobs and their pay check, when you see a child that needs a pair of socks on in cold weather or a coat or sweater they go. And I have never heard “I had to do this, I had to do that”; it is for real straight from their heart for caring.