Sayreville’s Students See South

Sayreville's Students See South

Elias Kotsis, Managing Editor

Kristen West, an active member of South’s Diversity Council, was paired with a student from Sayreville on February twelfth to observe the different learning styles of the two schools. West and seven others members of South’s Diversity Council were matched with  members of Sayreville’s Peer Leaders club who shared common interests and similar courses. This exchange program was designed so students could experience a typical day learning in a atmosphere drastically different from their own and possibly even incorporate what they liked into their home school. South’s participants guided and led their partners through their own class schedules.

For some students, like West, this exchange was deeply insightful. West is a member of Tomorrow’s Teachers, a group at South that prepares students interested in a career in education.  The opportunity for West to present her own school to a student from a more diverse community gave her valuable feedback about South from an outside perspective.

In addition to attending classes and experiencing differences in the academic environment, Sayreville students gained a sense of the atmosphere and spirit South emits. Jackie O’Connor, West’s partner, had only praise for the conduct and energy of South’s student body.

“The morale warms the heart,” said O’Connor. She continued to explain that South’s students appear to be generally “happy.” She thoroughly appreciated the aesthetic and vivid murals that grace South’s halls.

The academics roaming South’s halls also impressed O’Connor. She was able to examine West’s classes, like Ms. Durdack’s English class. Coincidently, the pair was studying the same exact author in their respective English classes. O’Connor enjoyed that students were relaxed in the classroom and no one had any discomfort joining and adding to the open discussion. After eating lunch with Mr. McKenzie, the pair was further surprised when they discovered they had read some of the same articles in their classes.

O’Connor found block scheduling to be beneficial. From a student in a school where block scheduling has not become the law of the land, she welcomed the idea of eighty minute blocks and thought them to be more efficient. She admitted that it may have its drawbacks, but the pros certainly outweigh the cons.

This exchange program was valuable to all participants; they got to observe another school, and make some new friends along the way.

“I’m enjoying this experience,” said O’Connor, “It’s really cool seeing how a different school functions.”

Vice versa to this exchange, South’s participants also traveled to Sayreville to spend a day in their partners’ high school. Check out the Diversity Council’s own thoughts on this followup in the next article!