My granddaughter and grandson who live in Memphis (I have another in Albuquerque, his school will be discussed later), go to what is, in my opinion, one of the best public schools in the country. Since I was a teacher and an administrator myself, I think it’s OK for me to voice my point of view. I also wrote about education across the US for the past several years, so I also know a bit about what’s going on in American schools.
With all that in mind, II still stand by my statement that Memphis State Campus School is one of the finest I have seen. For one thing, when I have had the pleasure of walking through the hallways, there is a pleasant mixture of calm, but enthusiastic, vibration in the air. The kids are well-behaved but I feel no sense of pressure or anxiety. The rules are in place and everyone seems to understand what they are.
The classrooms are alive with activity and feel like happy places. The school’s mission is based on these goals:
- Provide best practices in elementary education instruction
- Model innovative educational designs
- Serve as a laboratory for educational redesign and research
- Offer clinical teaching experiences and mentoring for pre-service teachers
For me, that makes this educational setting the “best of both worlds.” Think about it, my grandchildren are not only learning on the cutting edge, but teachers are also being taught how to teach at the same time. Makes me proud.
The association with the university also adds to the school loyalty and close community. At assemblies, the children sing many songs authentically but none more than their song concerning the Tigers, Memphis State’s mascot.
The school’s vision can be remembered as an acronym – CREED.
EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING,
ENTHUSIASM FOR LEARNING,
I know there are great schools in the US, and I know we have many, many struggling districts in the nation, as well. I’m just so thankful that my kids, by the luck of the draw and because of living in the same neighborhood as the Memphis State campus, are attending a school that is making a difference.
Go, Tigers, Go!