This year is an exciting new one for Boundary Central Secondary students, with plenty of new activities and opportunities coming their way. We sat down with some of the teachers as they told us what is going to make this year better than ever in their classroom.
Sarah Tripp, drama teacher
Q: How did you choose Les Mis for this year’s senior drama class show?
I knew that I had some really intense performers; there are some really spectacular singers, so I knew this was they year I could take on something more operatic, and it’s really nice for me to step into something more serious. Last year, I put [Les Mis] out there and they were very receptive to it. It’s very passionate music, very strong rooted in torment and anger and angst—kind of all those teenage things.
Q: What is new and exciting about this year’s production?
This is definitely the biggest one we have done, I hazard a guess it may be the best one too because this year I feel I really have a committed crew.
Q: Why is drama education important in schools?
It is the culmination of becoming a better citizen. There is teamwork, there is ownership, responsibility and getting along with people, not to mention public speaking and confidence. All of those things that a lot of teenagers lack. But I drive home with the kids, and with any teen, it’s about looking out for each other. It’s not all about you, it’s a community.
Cam Spelay, science teacher
Q: What is new in your classroom this year?
We got this amazing high end telescope that will allow you to see the rings of Saturn and really give kids a chance to see with their own eyes what you could really just see on the Internet. This amazing school managed to come up with the money thanks to Community Futures, the PAC and Bo [Macfarlane].
Q: How are the students going to use it?
They start in a couple weeks, on evenings, towards the end of the week so it doesn’t intfere with school studies. We will meet here when its dark, and in groups of about eight and go through whatever we can find.
Q: Why will this be an asset in the classroom?
It is motivational. In Science 10 we teach astronomy, and instead of it being dry—here are the notes, hand them back get tested—they can do something hands on and project-oriented, which is what the new curriculum is about. In the spring I will bring it into Physics 11 and 12, and the astronomy club. The kids will really be getting use out of it, and it is my hope that some of the parents will hang around and get some use out of it, because it is really cool.
Bo Macfarlane, principal and physical education teacher
Q: What does the new curriculum mean for students?
What you need to think of is there are fewer specific learning outcomes, and more student choice, and the intent is to go deeper. It is more project and problem and Interest-based. With the exams taken out, that gives the teachers more freedom with their evaulaton strategies that are less tradiotnal, and give a chance for kids to show their knowledge in different ways.
Q: Why is this change important?
Everyone is used to what they are used to and everyone has had an experience with school. But school has to change because the kids are changing. We can’t teach the way we did in the ‘80s because it is not the same student, the technology that is there now wasn’t before. We are constanly looking to improve … it’s a positive change.
Q: What will you be doing to address student tardiness this year?
We’re asking kids to be more responsible and making it a priority. Being late in 98 per cent of jobs is unacceptable. So we’re just re-emphasizing that this year.
Q: What is new in terms of courses for students?
We have a hockey academy starting, which is very exciting. It is a Hockey Canada -affliated academy, and they get access to Hockey Canada jerseys, and as the instructor I get access to Hockey Canada’s drills. It’s a physicical education class, but it’s choice-based. Now they can specialize in hockey, on the ice two days a week and the other two doing fitness training.