The floors are waxed and the chalkboards are clean, waiting for students to begin the new school year at New Boston on Tuesday. Before students return, teachers gathered at the high school on Thursday, for a little education of their own. John Strebe of Strebe's Consulting in Bluffton, SC. visited the school Thursday, hosting an all-day seminar for New Boston teachers on ways to make their learning times more productive. "Today what I was doing was giving teachers ideas of how to get students to engage in learning with each other, especially with a block schedule. A block schedule offers challenges, and you can't just stand and lecture for 90 minutes. So how do we get kids to love the classrooms? How do we get teachers to love it more? How do we get the 90 minute block to be truly productive?" Strebe asked. He said the answer is to get students engaged with learning, and led by example, dividing teachers into groups in the same way they might divide their students. Strebe previously taught for 38 years in Baltimore, but has spent the past 23 years traveling the country with his seminars for teachers. He said he hosts about 26 seminars each year, from Virginia to Wisconsin, and from Texas to Ohio. He said his group of teachers at New Boston were one of the best he's had all summer. "They were so enthusiastic. They dove right in. It's obvious they're a very quality group of people. They obviously care about kids, they care about learning, they care about not becoming stagnant in the classroom and you don't find that everywhere," Strebe said. He credited New Boston teachers for the district's high graduation rate, and praised them for working with students on more difficult studies. After leaving New Boston on Thursday, Strebe said he was going to return home for a short break before continuing his seminar next week in New Jersey.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235.