Hite's expectations for classrooms: Rigor, engagement, problem-solving
by thenotebook on Sep 12 2012 Posted in Latest news
On the first day of school for students on Friday, reporter Benjamin Herold interviewed incoming Superintendent William Hite for Newsworks and the Notebook. Following is an excerpt from an exchange in which Hite speaks forcefully about the importance of engaging students in activities that matter to them.
Herold: I know a lot of folks in Philadelphia were excited about your hiring because of your background as an educator and because you are familiar with the classroom. As you have toured schools and started to go through your transition, and here at AMY Northwest, even today, what are you looking for in classrooms for the start of the year?
Hite The first thing is the level of engagement for all the students who are in those classrooms.
Is it a classroom that creates an environment where students are learning from each other, where students are able to find knowledge from multiple places? Do they have opportunities to problem-solve? Do they have opportunities to think critically? All the things about the classroom environment then become really important. So, that’s what I’m looking for.
I’m looking for individuals who are not the sole bearers of every piece of content information that students receive, but instead they are asking questions to students where that point of inquiry actually allows the student to think differently about their response.
I’m also looking for the level of rigor in terms of what we’re exposing all students to in each and every classroom and whether or not the expectations are high enough so that our students have opportunities beyond their time here in the School District of Philadelphia.
And I’m also looking for opportunities to provide our professionals who are standing in front of students -- and they are professionals who are leading schools -- with the resources, with the support, and with the development to continue to improve their science and art of educating young people.