Day 4, Still catching up
Trip Start Jun 08, 2012
9Trip End Jun 24, 2012
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Macleans College (high school) is where Margaret Sava was placed last spring. There are 2,500 students. There are 8 houses based on the Maori village whanau (fan-ow) house, whanau means extended family. Each is named for a such notable New Zealander such as Katherine Mansfield, Kiri Te Kanawa, Edmund Hillary, who was first climbed to the top of Mt Everest. Students begin their school day with a social meeting in their whanau house. A student stays in the same one for their entire time at Macleans. School is house based rather than whole school basis. Staff are house based as well. Community building is intentional so students become a family. See webpage story about my visit www.macleans.school.nz<http://www.macleans.school.nz>
The campus is beautifully maintained and overlooks a breathtaking vista of mountains and lake.
I spend the morning in a special education reading resource room, where we read Raold Dahl's short story, "Lamb to Slaughter." Margaret, the special education teacher, read aloud and worked with the 2 students to develop text connections.
ESOL class and another highlight. All are beginning level English, 13-14 years old, all Asian, mostly Chinese, who've only just arrived in NZ. Kay, their teacher, had me at the front of the room and the students introduced themselves and told where they're from and some added their favorite color and pastimes. Then instead of introducing myself, Kay had each student ask me a question and she wrote my answers in English on the whiteboard. (I forbade them to ask my age.) So they asked about my family, where I live, why I'm in NZ, do I like Lady Gaga? Who's my favorite Basketball player, favorite food, color? etc. Their homework assignment was to copy what was written on the white board and write a story about me. Those I’d like to see!
LUNCH with associate principal who's been at Macleans for 26 years, seen the growth of the house model, explained how the house system is the glue holds it together. He started as assistant teacher and worked up to associate principal.
Afternoon: in English 12: Where students were reading and discussing a story by Alan Paton. They also have read The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird.