We're Learning Here!

Rogers Middle School
A project by: Amika Kemmler-Ernst

The Rogers, one of only five middle schools left in Boston, is right off Hyde Park Avenue near River Street. It’s a three-story brick building with no elevators – great exercise for teachers and students, if a bit of a challenge for me! ELA teachers Barbara Keller and Kathleen McGonigle invited me to do a feature on their school when I stopped in the office en route to visit Haley students last month.

During my visit I was escorted by Principal Intern Donna Cross and by two 8th graders, Shylenne and Kaleya. Gym teacher Tom Levett encouraged me to visit his rowing class. With rowing machines and the support of a coach from Community Boating, students learn how to row properly and in tandem. They’ll get to go rowing on the Charles River in the spring!

Students at the Rogers have a “double dose” of ELA and Math each day, and most classes I saw reflected that. Many classrooms had Smart boards! During the first term of the school year, character education was at the heart of Carolyn Miller‘s ELA instruction, as students read and discussed The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.

Social Studies, Physical Education, and Theater Arts are specialty subjects. I especially enjoyed visiting the colorful Theater Arts classroom with a rack of costumes and a variety of puppets on display. I watched a small group of students using finger puppets to enact a scene from Shakespeare’s Hamlet for the class, while their teacher Kathleen Doyle looked on and offered occasional prompts.

I loved seeing “Bio Boards” on display outside one classroom, posters created by students to describe themselves and their dreams. I hope 2015 brings some of your dreams to fruition... please invite me to visit!