Friday, May 2, 2008


VOICES OF SAN DIEGO Five years ago, suspensions abounded at Webster Elementary. Fights regularly erupted during recess and teachers feared violent outbursts from gang-involved 6th graders. New principal Jennifer White was shocked to learn that Webster had 70 suspensions the year before she arrived, and 80 the year before that.. . . Fast forward to 2008. Students cheerfully greet their teachers by name, line up quickly, and listen respectfully to each other in class. The endless procession of kids to the principal's office has stopped. White now spends her mornings ranging freely between classrooms to observe teachers and videotaping their best lessons to share.

Teachers chalk up the turnaround to a homegrown program that explicitly teaches students how to behave in class. Building on Buguey's initial efforts to improve discipline, Jennifer White and her teachers crafted the Webster Way, which teaches "scholarly behaviors" such as eye contact, cleaning up your trash, and greeting teachers by name. Such skills are usually expected but not actively taught, White said.

Teachers at Webster devote 10 to 20 minutes daily to role-playing those behaviors and discussing why they matter. Throughout the day, they invoke the Webster Way. Related Links

"Schools assume that a student will come in, and just know what to do," school psychologist Steve Franklin said. "At Webster, teaching a student how to be a student is really important. We don't expect them to already know how to read, to do math or write. So why aren't we teaching these things, too?". . .

Students now flock to the science-themed school. Magnet schools like Webster center their curriculum on a theme and pull students from across the city. In 2003, few students came to Webster from elsewhere; today, half its students have chosen Webster over their neighborhood schools. Educators from Visalia and Los Angeles and even Michigan have visited to see Webster's transformation.


At May 4, 2008 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll expect to see a derisive comment from some 'pwogwessive' here, any time now, grousing about how these fascist teachers are impinging upon the free expression of students in teaching them to clean up their trash, and behave with some modicum of respect toward their fellows. That's what Progressivism seems pretty much to've devolved into these days.

At May 5, 2008 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At May 5, 2008 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To clarify the message above refers to the first comment, not the article.

At May 5, 2008 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ROFLMAO! Looks like you hit the money shot, 6:32. Good one!

At May 6, 2008 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like your tasteful metaphor from the porn industry?

At May 6, 2008 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's fairly hilarious to read any poster here griping about 'tastefulness', considering a number of the postings I've read here.

And for your info, 'money shot' is not lingo confined to the porn industry. Doesn't really surprise me that it might be the first thing to occur to some minds here, however.

At May 6, 2008 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

632 here, just wryly noting how the 'pwogwessives' will go to great lengths to dodge a challenge to their 'pwogwessiveness'. Too bad some of these teachers can't teach them a thing or two.

At May 7, 2008 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's so amusing to witness you proud "regressives" fire and miss over and over. While you engage in childish nonsense, Rome continues to burn.

At May 8, 2008 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another "pwogwessive" heard from.

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