Sunday, September 13, 2020

What makes a school great?


Hello to all my former students who have posted on this blog and have dropped by to see what is happening here since I have retired. Also, welcome to new visitors who have found us; my fourth graders spent a great deal of time posting on here. Hopefully, you have found something that you have enjoyed and we gave you something to think about from time to time. 


After I retired, I found an article whose title was, "What makes a great school?" I have my thoughts, but I also wonder what the students think. I know that I do not have a class any longer, but I hope that anyone who stops by here will post his or her ideas in the comments section. I would love to get a cross section of ideas from across the United States and even the world. As you can see on our visitors map, a large number of people from around the world have stopped by here. 


So, visitors, the question is simple: What makes a school great? Please post your ideas in the comments. Come back and see if anyone has responded to your ideas. I always respond to posts. If you see someone's idea that you would like to comment on, please do so. I sure hope we get some ideas going as I am truly interested in the students' perspective of what makes a great school. 


Thank you for your time-

Michael La Marr

Retired elementary school teacher

Sacramento, California

email: room15mustangs@gmail.com

19 comments:

  1. Dylan Fender, student of MrLaMarr in 2017-2018September 29, 2020 at 2:28 PM

    Definitely the teachers. Each one has a different and motivating way that they teach. After being in middle school with 5 different teachers a day for 1 year, this is even more relevant. Hi Mr LaMarr! I really hope you are doing well in retirement. Everyone who went through your class at some point definitely misses you, at least I know I do.

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    1. Hey Dylan! I am so glad to see your post; you're the first one. I hope others join in. I imagine 5 different teachers, especially in Zoom classes, would bring a challenge.

      I am enjoying retirement. I now have TWO grandsons, and I am having fun being "Bapa" as Warren named me. I miss you all too. I absolutely loved my year with your class. You guys are GREAT! Good luck to you this school year. Keep in touch if you can.

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    2. I totally agree with Dylan. Teachers are a vital part of a classroom and a school environment in general. Hi Mr. LaMarr!

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  2. Hi Mr. LaMarr and Dylan! My mom freaked out when I told her you put the "Over and Out" without the blog site and she was like "We should've saved the site!" ��
    Anyway, hi and I'm glad you still kept this up!

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    1. What makes a school great (my response):
      Having good teachers that are motivated but strict, students that respect their teacher(s) and respect each other, and having fun together (and alone when necessary) would be another great point for an amazing school community.

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    2. Hey Amy-

      Thank you for stopping by the blog. I appreciate your taking the time to post your thoughts on what makes a good school. I like that you touched on the idea of respect. To me, that is crucial for everyone's success.

      Yeah, the classroom website was taken down so that I could play around with different things in that webspace. I've gotten a couple of comments about it being gone, so I may upload an archived version. We'll see . . . I hope that you are doing well in middle school. Be sure you keep in touch!

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  3. What makes school great? The students and teachers. If you have an amazing teacher like you Mr.Lamarr,school is beyond great. And if the school has great respectful students ,it will be easier for other students to make friends and for the teachers to teach.

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    1. Hey Henry-

      Great to see you stopping by the blog. Thank you so much for your compliment, too. I like your final sentence about respect and how it makes it easier for everyone to work together.

      I hope you are doing well in 5th grade. I miss you guys. Be sure to keep in touch, ok?

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  4. oops that post is Henry Reynen

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  5. What I think makes school great are the teachers and students for multiple reasons. The homework, tardies, and group conversations all have real world reasons. The homework is to be responsible and also learn more than you already know. The tardie is to be on time for stuff and not slack off. The group conversations are to work together through issues and problems. The school is a big family really. The teachers are the parents teaching you about the world and how to do better than them. They want us to be more successful than them. They want the best for you no matter if you think they suck. The students are learning how to get out into the real world. There will be fights along the way, but they are trying to get resolved no matter how it looks like. I feel like the school's purpose is to try to help its scholars educationally and make them the best they can be.

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    1. How are you doing, Charlie? It's great that you took the time to give your input. So far, you are the "oldest" post here, and it's great to get your perspective as you're working your way through middle school. I like your sentence in the middle that makes the point that the school is a really big family. I always wanted that feel in my classroom over the years. I like the caring that goes along with the family idea. You bring up several good points, and your conclusion is a great one!

      Keep in touch, kid, and let me know how you are doing.

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  6. I will try t keep in touch Mr.Lamarr.

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    1. I hope so, Henry! It's great to hear from you guys. I hope you are well.

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  7. Samrita Naidu: Student of Mr. LaMarr in 2017-2018December 15, 2020 at 8:51 PM

    The most essential piece of a school environment is definitely teachers. Teachers encourage us to try new things, help us unearth our passions, challenge us to reach our full potential and help us believe that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. Being a risk taker and trying new things is an important skill for any scholar to have. All teachers educate students on this indispensable skill to help them find new passions and set us up for success as we “approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies”(IB Learner Profile). Discovering a passion is an instrumental step towards figuring out a potential future occupation. Therefore, teachers have a notable effect on students’ futures. Unveiling a passion is also crucial in self expression and other aspects of life that relate to creativity and innovation. When teachers challenge us to grasp our full potential, they usher us in the right way and help us continue and maintain our pathways of education. “Whether or not you find your own way, you’re bound to find some way”(Phantom Tollbooth 19-20). This quote shows that we always have a pathway, but teachers help us understand that the sky is the limit, motivate us to try to reach our maximum potential and assist us in paving our own pathways. Teachers invigorate us to believe that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to which helps us set goals and achieve those goals. Teachers make school an amazing place!

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  8. Elanor Espey: Student from 2018-2019February 9, 2021 at 10:37 AM

    I think what makes a school great is the people you meet there and the interactions you have with them. Teachers are the heart and soul of a school; they are the essential component that make the school work and function. It's not only the teachers but the students too. The students are the reason that schools are a thing, students become thirsty for new knowledge and want to learn. Interaction is also one of the most important parts of school. Interaction drives students to want more knowledge and come back to school. I think that especially this year with distance learning, interaction is so essential to students because it gives them a sense that even though this is tough and feels nothing like school that it is school. A good school should be a place where you can make friends with not only your classmates but your teachers too; a place where you feel welcomed and accepted for who you are, not who those voices in your head tell you to be. Teachers and students, and the interaction you have with them, are what make a school great.

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    1. Also Mr. LaMarr I'm still selling Girl Scout cookies this year! contact me at ejelovessoccer@gmail.com to order!

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  9. It's been so long... I miss the old days... :(

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  10. Oops that was Aiden

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