In today’s Windsor Now, James Redmond features Janelle Duvall’s experiences working with the Compose Our World team as she explores new ways of approaching essential skills with her students. Here’s a short excerpt:
When the process started the concept felt different enough to be confusing and overwhelming, said Windsor High School teacher Janelle Duvall, one of the Windsor teachers working on the project.
She admits she still battles with the instinct to focus on the classic reading and writing her career as an English teacher instilled in her. But as she figured out how to get her students involved in the projects she helped create in the new curriculum, she started seeing encouraging results.
Her hardest struggle was making the projects matter to her students in real-world terms. The group wants students to work on projects and assignments that mean more than just a grade. It wants students to care.
Duvall’s moment came when her students undertook a project to solve traffic problems on Windsor’s Main Street. Students spent hours and numerous class periods researching the traffic situation, interviewing local officials and processing the information gathered. In the end students presented their solution — evidence and all — to local officials.
Thanks to Janelle for sharing her classroom with the larger Windsor community, and to all our teammates and partners at Windsor High School!