Wednesday, January 30, 2013
I am writing to ask that the citizens of Walla Walla support the students attending Walla Walla High School.
I am a science teacher and I know how creative teachers are able to make do with little, but it is time to step up and help our youth be prepared to be the innovators, inventors, engineers and medical personnel we will need in the future.
I am a Wa-Hi graduate (1974) and was inspired by Ron Huntington to pursue a career in biology, while my mom instilled the desire to be in the classroom. Back then, a great teacher might have been enough to encourage students to pursue a career in science, but today kids need to learn how to access and analyze a vast amount of information.
In the ’70s we used typewriters, slide-rules and a hand-held calculator was $120. Things have changed. Kids are digital natives and expect to use technology.
Science classrooms must provide students the opportunity to run experiments, collect data, analyze data and present findings. Students are being asked to solve problems and work together to arrive at creative solutions.
Updating the amount of space is important but we tend to forget the infrastructure necessary. Sufficient wiring, fiberoptic cables, plumbing and even the furniture needs to be updated to support new technologies and to facilitate cooperation between students and teachers. The standard of squishing students into 30 desks in a row does not support the kind of work we expect students to be able to do.
Tables and equipment take space. I teach in a 30 year-old school and we are having similar issues. I would think that Wa-Hi, being much older, is seriously in need of updating.
Classrooms of today must be different. I know it seems expensive but think about how many students a school serves over the years. Why would we not want to pull together and provide the best for our children and give them all the possible tools to succeed?
Students attending Wa-Hi deserve to have a first-class education and to be competitive with other students in the state. Please support the bond. I assure you, I vote “yes” where I live because I am depending upon our youth to solve the issues that will face us in the future.
Mari (Ormsby) Knutson Herbert