Beyond the Norm-Mel

I want to start all over again

Nearly everyone wishes time would go by slower or that they were younger. There are very few who are content to grow old.

Just go to the store and look at how many kinds of face creams with age-defying additives there are. Or listen to the beauty secrets of the stars. I have heard one star say she puts petroleum jelly on her face daily to combat the effects of aging.

No one wants to get old. Just about everyone has an age they would like to be and stay at, whether that be 18, 21 or 25.

I'd have to say that if I had a choice I would want to be young enough to go through school again. I wouldn't want to take the WASL, but with all of the new thoughts on education I can't help but wonder what school would be like the second time around.

Rather than learning conceptually, students are taking a hands-on approach to learning.

I like learning hands-on. Some of my favorite classes in school like biology, photography and physics, were hands-on, but all of those classes I took later in my educational career, mostly at college.

I like tearing things apart and trying to figure out how to put them back together. Of course, it doesn't always go as planned. I have torn a bike apart and was unable to fix it. There were just too many parts and I couldn't remember off the top of my head how they all went back together.

As far as learning goes, I still have issues with fractions, but with a measuring cup in hand, I can usually figure it out.

Don't get me wrong, I had some great teachers, but as there has been a stronger emphasis on different learning methods in recent years, I have determined that learning could have been easier for me.

Even with all the stress caused by the "No Child Left Behind Act" and the WASL, the kids of today are getting a great education. Teachers are learning to be better teachers and administrators are taking a hands-on approach to bettering education in their schools.

Principals are no longer just disciplinarians, but are involved in their students' educational opportunities. Students no longer dread a visit with the principal, rather they often feel privileged to see the head administrator.

In talking with Mabton Principal Julie Schmick, I learned that she is a positive influence in her student's lives and she has gotten back into a more educational role before school and during lunch. She meets with almost all of the students during those times. Other students in other grades request to get involved in the programs Schmick oversees.

That amazes me! Kids want to learn. They want to spend time with caring adults. They want to be a part of something educational.

That's what I wish school had been like when I was younger. I wish that instead of counting down the days until the end of the school year, that my thirst for knowledge was so unquenchable that I was dreading the last day of school.

. Melissa Browning can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail


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