The smell of chalk dust in the air. Square lunchroom pizza, the highlight of every Friday, devoured as students sat at their assigned lunchroom table. Desks in perfect rows, no one uttering a sound. Teachers talking and lecturing while compliant students copied nearly irrelevant facts and dates on their blue lined notebook paper.
That’s exactly how most of my days as a student at Lake Weir Middle School, two decades ago, went day after day.
Fast forward twenty some odd years. The scene has certainly changed. Classrooms are interactive, collaborative, technology filled hubs of information and globalized concepts! Learners sit in groups, talk often to share ideas, sit in beautifully diverse groups at lunch while they snap mid-day selfies.
For many years, LWMS carried the stigma of a landslide, moving consistently downhill. Today, that is changing! With a renewed focus on literacy, our learners are moving towards increased proficiency while also learning important skills. We have a variety of educational opportunities, including Spanish, agriculture, logistics, and construction.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved my days at Lake Weir Middle many years ago, but we live in a different age today. Students aren’t conditioned to be fact absorbing sponges. In fact, kids aren’t really students at all anymore. They are interactive, information seeking learners. That’s not to say they WANT to learn every skill and standard set before them, but they are certainly engaged in a much different way today than two decades ago…and the teachers and staff at Lake Weir Middle School are dedicated to delivering a quality, relevant, rigorous education to all of our learners!
Nora Choquette is a curriculum specialist with Marion County Schools and a resident of Lady Lake.