2002-04-18 / View From the Middle

View From The Middle

View From The Middle

View From The Middle

By Charles Rogers

Now...If Only ALL Teachers

Could Be Like Ms. Goldson!

Frankly, I stick by my guns in opposition to local boards and the Bd. of Ed and even a chancellor. Give me a mayor who can be boss and who knows how to manage and I’ll be satisfied until next time.

With all that said as a prologue, allow me to say something nice for a change; something that didn’t necessarily change my mind but at least gave me a lift for a short time.

I covered a story last week at District 18’s P.S. 233. The story was a pleasant event about a professional children’s book illustrator, Pat Cummings, who came to the school to show the students what she does and how she does it. Good little story that involved a couple of photos of Ms. Cummings at her drawing board talking to an enraptured class of six and seven-year-olds.

My personal delight, however, was periphery to this event and centered on the schools principal, Ms. Yvonne Goldson.

I can’t say she is unlike most school principals, with the future of her charges a first priority, but I was particularly caught up with her enthusiasm while talking about some of the programs and activities in which her students participate, activities like ballet and music and reading and the like.

To hear this educator talk, one would think there are no barriers to fine learning in New York schools, no financial problems, no social problems. Just a large group of conscientious parents and eager children anxious to get started on cultural improvements in their lives.

When I walked into the classroom where the illustrator was presenting her exposition, I was taken by the posters on the walls. They weren’t your ordinary kind. Oh, not by any means. One poster featured the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, while another featured the American Ballet. On another wall a ballerina’s dancing shoe hung, still dusty with the ever-necessary talcum powder. Another wall featured the names of authors, including the great names in literature.

I commented on this to Ms. Goldson and she said, "This is something we’re extremely proud of. We want our children to have a well-rounded education, and that includes the arts — all the arts." She said there are art classes, and "reading rooms" and, of course, dance classes and drawing classes.

"Well rounded" are insufficient words, in this case.

Obviously, I was impressed. No, my mind won’t change on the "system" and how it’s handled by the administrators. But we can be assured that if our kids are being taught at this age level by teachers and principals of the caliber of Ms. Goldson, there is, indeed, a lot of hope. A lot of hope.

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