Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Day in the Life of Dea Jones, SIDI Magnet Lead Teacher

Being Lead Teacher of a magnet program equals very busy days. Dea Jones, Lead Teacher of the STEM Institute of Design and Innovation (SIDI) magnet at Summit Parkway Middle School began Wednesday, February 11, helping students print projects in the media center before school. Soon, the bell was ringing and Ms. Jones was in place for morning duty in the hall. Finally, she headed to her office to answer emails before her first magnet interview.

Students who apply to middle school magnet programs during the Choice application period each January also go through an interview. SIDI interviewees are asked to bring an "artifact," answer six short questions and complete a writing exercise. SIDI is a magnet program focused on science, technology, engineering, and math education that provides students the opportunity to explore various science and math strands from an engineering and technology standpoint.

The first student interviewee proudly displayed her artifacts, a small star and scarf she had knitted. She said she brought them because they took time and skill to create.

By the time Ms. Jones arrived in her first class, co-taught with Mr. Hagerty, students were already working on their daily STEM. The STEM is a problem to reinforce the concepts they've recently learned. As the class finished its fluid-powered invention lab, the teachers set out materials for the next project, the building of a hydraulic arm. As students excitedly began adding supplies for the project to gallon plastic bags, Ms. Jones slipped out to attend a parent-teacher conference.

During the 45-minute break between sixth and seventh grade classes, Ms. Jones and Mr. Hagerty worked to fine-tune directions for the upcoming activity. Students were tasked with drafting designs for a Rube Goldberg Machine that will dump a bucket of ice on Summit Parkway Principal Andrew Barbone. The students arrived and quickly got to work watching videos of other Rube Goldberg machines, brainstorming ideas and sketching plans.

The school day came to a close, but Ms. Jones wasn't done yet. After wishing students a good afternoon from her post in the hallway outside her office, she headed to the conference room where twin sisters awaited their interviews for the SIDI magnet. It's all in a Day in the Life of a magnet lead teacher in Richland Two!

Below is Ms. Jones' day in photos. Visit our A Day in the Life album on Flickr to see more of  her busy day.

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