BY MOHINI TAKHAR
Windermere high school does a lot of great things to help students thrive and be successful in all aspects of our lives. Honestly, high school is not the easiest time of a teenager’s life. There’s academics, relationships, extracurriculars and even sports! While balancing all the important things in a student’s life, we tend to feel a little stressed out. Well, more like a lot.
Fortunately, Windermere has a variety of places for students to go to receive support, such as tutorial Thursdays, homework club and the resource department. Thursday is the day where blocks are shortened every week so students are able to receive help before or after school. I think this helps students get support in certain areas they are struggling with. Homework club takes place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays where students can go to receive help after school. The student support assistants (SSAs) are there to circulate around to help students with their academics. The SSAs are also part of Windermere’s Resource Centre.
The Resource Centre’s one and only Judy Payne does everything in her power to ensure that her students are getting the resources they need to do their best in everything possible. A short while ago, Payne received a $12,500 grant for Math Academy, which is a program that our grade 8 students use. I decided to have a one-on-one chat with the admirable Payne, not to just discuss the fantastic news but also to get to know her better.
“My goal is to change our special education so that we don’t have special ed classes, Payne said. “We have places where students can go for assistance and they get specialized support but we prefer to have all students be included in every part of the school.” Wouldn’t that be awesome? I think Payne is doing a fantastic job of making it work.
So I asked the determined teacher what Math Academy is. I don’t know about Math Academy and you probably don’t know either but Payne and Jeanette Inglis are here to solve the mystery. Inglis is one of the Math 8 teachers and has been using Math Academy for three years.
Payne explained, “Using the Academy of Math has allowed us to identify individual student weaknesses and allow the students themselves the opportunity to work on what they need to.” Inglis added, “The program figures out what level the student is at and what different things they need to practice and then expect them to be able to do those skills.” This is exactly what I would use if I travelled back in time!
Lastly, I asked Payne, “What is your number-one thing to do when you’re extremely exhausted?” She responded, “What I do is try to at least get up and move around and at that point it’s just getting up and doing things until the exhaustion passes.” Ms. Payne never surrenders!
I then asked, “What is your number-one priority as a resource teacher?” She replied,” I really try to have my door open as much as I can I try to work with any student who needs help.” As you can tell Payne is a very hardworking and dedicated teacher!
Mohini Takhar is a grade 11 Windermere Secondary student and writer-in-progress. “My biggest fear and thrill is public speaking because I strive to inspire people. I was privileged to have the opportunity to speak before three hundred people about myself multiple times on behalf of the Centre for Child Development. Being disabled never holds me back and that’s the best thing about me.”
Copyright (c) 2015 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News