Mrs. Jenny Cooper always keeps us informed about what is happening in her classrooms, and Wednesday she sent in:
The Inventor of the “World Peace Game” reminded LA students to bring their mentors up to speed…
As 2019 Mees Visiting Scholar John Hunter began his first full day with Lawrence Academy students with a request.
Hunter, a renown educator, featured in the documentary “World Peace and Other Fourth Grade Achievements” asked a packed Richardson-Mees Performing Arts Center (RMPAC) to assist their teachers.
“I can’t see as far as you can,” explained Hunter, now in his 60s. “So, what I am going to ask you is to reveal the future…and help me to be a better teacher.”
“I just can’t keep up,” added, Hunter, point blank and speaking on behalf of his fellow educators. “I can’t know everything.
“There’s [many] of you in a classroom and one of me; with my old Atari or Commodore  brain.
“I invite you to help me design our curriculum,” he added.
No, Hunter has not joined the Lawrence Academy faculty.
However, in essence, Hunter was asking the students to do precisely what Head of School Dan Scheibe wants LA’s scholars to do as Lawrence Academy (under the direction of Hunter’s friend and colleague — LA’s new Assistant Head for Academic Life — Jamie Baker).
“We are trying to use [John Hunter’s] visit to inspire us as teachers to think about the ways that we can create ‘space’ for students,” said Mr. Scheibe, speaking both literally and philosophically. “to learn to fully respect what you have to offer.
“We want to create the type of relationships — not only between students — but between faculty and students… that will make your learning come alive.
“So you can see why we, as teachers, want to be able to work with John Hunter,” he said.
In turn, Hunter is glad for the opportunity to work with LA’s students.
“To prepare you, we know that we can’t just teach you information anymore,” he said. “Teaching you information is almost useless.”
Then, holding his smartphone aloft, Hunter added, “You can find the sum total of human knowledge… in your pocket on one of these. So what do you need me for?
“It can’t just be knowledge; [however] teachers do have a purpose and function. But it’s in collaboration with you. If you are waiting to receive an education, you’re not going to get much of an education.
“So, I invite you to be involved with your own learning and get involved in your own learning,” he concluded.
John Hunter will be collaborating with the community through Tuesday morning…
By Kerri Murphy ’19
When I first came to Lawrence Academy, I was unsure what to think about the Academic Support program and what it meant to have a learning coach.
Before starting at LA, I fought my parents about needing the program but settled on meeting with my learning coach one time per week. However, my preconceived perception of the learning support at LA couldn’t be more different than the reality.
And, after having a learning coach for all four years I have been at Lawrence Academy, I now wish I could bring the program to college with me next year.
During coaching blocks, the student dictates what they want to work on during that time. Therefore, it is an excellent time to do any tough homework with your learning coach’s assistance. They are willing and wanting to help you with any problems you may encounter – whether it is planning out a history essay or reading an English assignment out loud to go over the meaning of each paragraph of prose.
Having a learning coach is like being able to ask your English teacher to take a look at your work before she grades it, or having someone willing to quiz you on Spanish vocabulary for 30-minutes until you have memorized each new word. Even if it is not an essay that I planned to do with my learning coach, I can still send it to her for a grammar and punctuation check, along with making sure the information flows correctly.
Each week, I look forward to meeting with my coach. First, we talk about my schedule, and I then tell her what I hope to accomplish during the block. During each meeting, I continuously find myself smiling and laughing, and I leave at the end of the block feeling accomplished, with a solid plan to stay on top of my work.
In short: Learning coaches and the LA Academic Support Office are there assist you! The office picks your coach based on your specific needs and personality to find the match that will lead to the best and most productive results.
They are all very knowledgeable in many different subjects, and they want to share their knowledge with each student. They take their job personally, genuinely care, and will do anything to help you succeed during your time at LA and beyond.
Not only has my learning coach helped me with my school work, but she has also helped me make sound academic decisions throughout my time at LA.
She encourages me to take challenging classes, giving me the confidence that I will succeed.
She has not yet been wrong…
J. William Mees Visiting Scholar 2018
Educator, author, and founder of the Moral Courage Project
Monday, February 5, 7:00 PM
Richardson-Mees Performing Arts Center (RMPAC)
Open to the public; free admission, free parking in RMPAC lot off Rte. 40
Past visiting scholars have included author Andre Debus III, poet Taylor Mali, singer/songwriter Dar Williams, mathematicians Adam Boucher and Tim Fukawa-Connelly, playwright and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, science professor Dr. Peter Groffman, and Cold War specialist Francis Gary Powers Jr.
In Ms. Hallock’s #chemistry class #TodayAtLA, students conducted a number of different experiments. Burning magnesium, creating methane bubbles and foaming hydrogen peroxide were among them.