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MHS Completes Its Second Active Parenting Series photo

MHS Completes Its Second Active Parenting Series

Fourteen Monroe High School parents completed the “Active Parenting Series” on December 3rd, 2014. The series of four workshops is conducted by Mrs. Hellen Garcia Leak from Cardinal Innovations. The workshops take parents through a variety of topics relevant to students and their families both at home and school. The workshops are coordinated by the Union County Public Schools Latino Outreach Office.

This is the second year in a row that the series was offered to Latino parents at Monroe High School. This is part of Monroe High School’s commitment to working with parents and families to strengthen diversity and globalization in our community. Monroe High School works to serve as an active link between students and their families and the resources available to them.

Parents participated actively in all sessions bringing their own experiences and insights into the conversation. The workshops proved to be valuable learning opportunities for all participants including parents and facilitators. Furthermore, it created fresh community connections between parents and the school which will continue to support the academic gains made by Monroe High School in recent years.

At the end of the workshop, parents who completed all four workshops were presented with a certificate that recognizes their completion of the workshop, and their commitment to their children’s education. As part of the closing session, parents brought traditional foods to share with other attendees. Participants enjoyed delicious dishes from Mexico, Peru, Guatemala , Honduras. This part of the celebration highlighted the global nature of our diverse school community. Monroe High School looks forward to hosting this type of workshop series for parents in the future to build on its strong tradition of community outreach.

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China Reflection photo

China Reflection

Marlena James, Spanish teacher at Monroe High School, reflects on her experience teaching in China last summer.

Teaching in China has made me a better teacher because I had to find alternative methods of communication and building relationships. The language barrier challenged me to experiment with various teaching methods, student activities and alternative assessments.

Although I teach a foreign language, I have the luxury of transitioning into English if the students don’t follow or become disengaged. In China, I didn’t have such a luxury. I had to be observant, alert, responsive and creative for every minute of the class period. My ice-breaker was an interpersonal speaking activity in which students asked each other their birthdays. Some students were comfortable asking the question “when is your birthday?” but couldn’t answer the question. This ice-breaker quickly turned into a lesson on the calendar. On the spot changes in the lesson were common. I had to be in tune with the students by recognizing non-verbal cues such as body language, disinterest or confusion. When I noticed there was a knowledge gap in knowing a birthday but not being able to communicate the date. I immediately shifted into a numbers review and introduced the months of the year. After the calendar, we practiced asking and answering the question “when is your birthday?” In this interpersonal activity, I noticed the pronunciation of the “TH” blend was difficult. The next day I brought practice activities for “TH” pronunciation.

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